(KCPW News) A downtown Salt Lake City arts museum is gaining national recognition for its recent improvements. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded $120,000 to the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, or UMOCA. It’s the largest two-year program support grant given by the foundation to any arts organization in the country. UMOCA Executive Director Adam Price says the museum has seen rapid growth over the past two years.
“When I started at the end of 2009, our audience was 19,000 annually, and we finished 2011 with 101,000 annually, so it’s a 450 percent increase,” he says. “We’ve been able to do a lot with our finances, our operations, making things more efficient.”
Price says the money will be used to bring future exhibitions to the museum, many of which will have displays throughout downtown for visitors to explore. He says UMOCA will also be working on increasing traffic inside the museum so that everyone knows what it has to offer.
“What we’re seeing is that people who are coming for the first time are coming back and they’re not just coming back themselves, they’re bringing their friends with them or their family with them, because it’s the kind of thing that they want to share,” says Price. “That’s really, I think, when a cultural institution is operating at its peak; that’s what happens, people realize this is incredible.”
Admission is free to UMOCA, which is located at 20 South West Temple. This Friday, it will host Elizabeth Tobias, whose exhibit, “Let Them Eat Cupcakes,” will have visitors share their thoughts and memories about hunger in exchange for a homemade cupcake.
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