Abraham Lincoln and the Transcontinental Railroad

On July 1, 1862 after decades of US congressional debate and disagreement on a Transcontinental Railroad and an appropriate route the road should take, President Lincoln brought the debate to a close and brought the enterprise to life, all with a stroke of his pen. On July 1, 1862, one year into America’s bloody Civil War, President Lincoln signed into …

Art preview: The epic reach of ‘Transcontinental’

With every viewing, the range of artworks keeps surprising me in “Transcontinental: People, Place, Impact,” the new Rio Gallery exhibition. By range, I’m referring to such contrasts as the printed stories and creative railroad interactivity of Stefanie Dykes and Amie Tullius’ well-travelled “Train Tracts,” paired with Gregg Deal’s “The Divinity of Inanimate Objects Omit their Sins,” a vivid collage painting …

Just what are Utahns reading?

We asked bookmobile drivers about the preferences of Utah’s readers — and we weren’t exactly surprised to find out that the biggest demand came from kids. Kids’ books > Of course. The state’s public libraries, including bookmobile patrons, rank first in the nation for the number of children’s books borrowed per capita. That’s about 16 million children’s books checked out …

Utah bookmobile near Capitol Reef

On Utah’s (Bookmobile) road again

Stocking shelves, truck whispering and technical support are all part of a bookmobile driver’s job in the digitalage. By Ellen Fagg Weist | Photography by Faun Jackson Urban readers — that is, Utahns who live near city and county library branches — might consider bookmobiles a relic of their childhoods. Or maybe the setting for a “gentle reads” novel, the …

Meet the Utah writer creating art from railroad history

In the voices of the ambitious “West,” Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal is writing a soundtrack to a distinctively American story. By Ellen Fagg Weist | Photography by Austen Diamond If you know where to look, the ghosts of Chinese workers appear everywhere on Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad byway. On a warm November morning, I’m standing with poet Paisley Rekdal in …

Clerks at the Legislature

Legislative Wrap-Up for Heritage & Arts

It may have been the “Year of the Train” and tax reform for the Utah Legislature, but they also found the time (and money) to begin a significant change to cultural funding, push forward construction of a storage solution for the artifact and arts collections, and even add a seventh division to the Department of Heritage & Arts. Overall, the …

Signs of condolence, #turntolove, in New Zealand.

Supporting All of Our Neighbors

In the wake of the horrific attack at a New Zealand mosque, Governor Gary R. Herbert has called for all Utahns to rally around their Muslim neighbors. “We do not tolerate hatred in our communities,” Gov. Herbert said in his statement on Friday. “During this time of pain and mourning, I hope all Utahns will reach out in love to …

Paint brushes

New Grant Funding Included in Final Legislative Budget

Budget bills approved by state legislators in a flurry of action Tuesday provides for measured short-term growth while setting the stage for a comprehensive tax reform effort. The new spending approved by the House and Senate included all of the requests made by the Department of Heritage & Arts. Among those funded requests are ongoing funding for a collections manager …

Utah Governor Gary Herbert presents his fiscal year 2020 budget.

Arts Grants Boosted By $6 Million in Governor’s Proposed Budget

Cultural organizations throughout Utah will receive a nearly six-fold increase in funding support under the budget proposed by Gov. Gary Herbert on Dec. 6. In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, Herbert has included $6 million for grants that will go to arts organizations, museums, and other cultural groups. The funding anchors his focus on elevating the quality of …