OGDEN — Ogden City overhauled the way it funds public art last year. And with new money up for grabs this year, city officials will show local artists how they can capitalize.
Last week, Ogden City Arts opened its grants cycle for 2020 and artists can apply for city money through 4 p.m. on March 13. On Feb. 3, the city will hold two grant writing workshops at the Weber County Main Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave. The first workshop will be held at noon and the second at 6 p.m.
Regina Esparza, Ogden marketing and communications coordinator, said attendance at the workshops are not mandatory for artists potentially eyeing grant money, but the classes will help people who have questions about the process and will include a step by step demonstration of how to write a grant.
According to Esparza, there are two grant categories artists can apply for this year: general support grants and project grants. Individual artists can apply to only one.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in Ogden this past year,” Ogden City’s Arts Coordinator Lorie Buckley said. “Especially in the (Nine Rails) creative district. The arts committee and I look forward to seeing what new projects and collaborations might become of this grant cycle.”
Last year, $100,000 in grant money was awarded to 27 grantees. There were 23 project grants and eight general support grants, Esparza said. The grants are made available on an annual basis and new applications must be submitted each year.
The Ogden City Arts Grants Program is funded through an annual appropriation from Ogden’s general fund and makes direct grants to individuals and organizations that contribute to the cultural life of Ogden. Esparza said the grants support projects in every art form.
Last year, the Ogden City Council adopted changes to the city’s arts funding mechanism, including a measure that allows the mayor to approve up to $30,000 toward “minor art” projects without council approval and allowing city-funded public arts projects to be placed on public property with an easement for public access and maintenance.
The council adopted a measure last year that calls for public art to be funded exclusively through lease revenue the city collects from the Business Depot Ogden business park. Until 2016, city-funded art was paid for from a pooled “Percent for Art” fund. Ogden was the first Utah city to begin such program when it was adopted in 1997.