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The Proposed Utah Museum of History, Heritage, and Art: A Listening Session

Tuesday, June 21, 2016   (0 Comments)
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The Proposed Utah Museum of History, Heritage, and Art: A Listening Session

By: Jennifer Ortiz


The Department of Heritage and Arts, a department of the State of Utah, is proposing building a new museum that would exhibit Utah’s state art and history collection and feature stories from across the state that highlight pre-history to present day. The proposed museum is a collaborative project between the Division of Arts and Museums and the Division of State History, two state agencies that fall under the umbrella of the Department of Heritage and Arts.


While Utah has dedicated museums for natural history, LDS history, and Utah art, our state lacks a comprehensive state museum for history and art. Furthermore, Utah is one of only two states in the country that does not currently have a designated state museum, which is one of the many reasons why the Department of Heritage and Arts is currently exploring how a new museum would impact the museum field in addition to the state’s economy.


Building a state history and art museum is not a new idea. Past efforts have seen proposals for a new museum in the 1930s, 1960s, 1980s, and most recently, in the 2000s. The Department of Heritage and Arts’ current exploration of building a state museum is to ensure the safe storage and exhibition of publicly held history and art collections including culturally valuable paintings, sculptures, rare manuscripts and photographs, just to name a few.


Please join our Division directors, Gay Cookson and Brad Westwood, along with the Department of Heritage and Art’s Executive Director, Julie Fisher, and Deputy Director, Brian Somers, in a listening session moderated by the Utah Museums Association’s President, Sonja Lunde, on the proposed Utah Museum of History, Heritage, and Art at the Utah Museums Association Conference in Ogden on Wednesday, October 12th at 3:30pm. As an active member of the museum community, we value your opinion and feedback; we invite you to submit questions for the moderator ahead of the conference to ensure all questions may be answered during the conference session. Please see our SurveyMonkey link to leave questions or comments. For more information regarding the proposed museum, please visit our website


Jennifer Ortiz works as the Manager of Museum Services with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. She is currently serving as a Utah Museums Association board member.

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