The Utah Presenters Network is a “must” gathering at the annual Mountain West Arts Conference. We would meet across several tables and share thoughts and ideas as fellow producer of events. Little did I know until recently that the Utah Presenters Network has been around since 1991. For some time, the Utah Presenters Network has served as a nonprofit that sought to boost collaborations among producers while promoting the arts in the state of Utah and beyond. Then, during this crazy 2020 year, it was announced that the Utah Presenters Network would give a one-time COVID-19 relief grant. We applied and received $950, which was a relief considering some of our non-refundable costs due to transforming from a live to a virtual festival.
Besides Story Crossroads, the following organizations were funded:
- Davis Arts Council
- Egyptian Theatre
- Friends of the Moab Folk Festival
- Moab Music Festival
- Mountain Town Music
- Park City Performing Arts Foundation (Park City Institute)
- Pilar Pobil Legacy Foundation
- West Valley Arts (Utah Cultural Celebration Center/Harman Theatre)
For a long time, Wendi Hassan served as Executive Director of the Utah Presenters Network. She is the Executive Director of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts in Logan, Utah and has always been an active volunteer and supporter with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.
Robin Wilks-Dunn is the new Utah Presenters Network Executive Director. She knows the theater world due to experience with the Salt Lake Acting Company and working with the Playwrights’ Lab. She serves on the National Advisory Committee for Kennedy Center Partners in Education.
The Utah Presenters Network has a closed/private Facebook group, which allows organizations to share a Google Drive and work out block booking of performing artists…including professional story artists.
Some topics of most importance to UPN:
- Crisis Communications Best Practices
- Keeping Audiences Engaged during all the Virtual Programming
- Future Funding for Arts Organizations and Performing Artists
- Best Practices in Communicating with Sponsors and Donors
- Effective Advocacy Efforts
In many ways, the UPN is a “quiet” group with much happening through networking, emails, and phone calls. The performing artists get the stage, but producers–and this whole network of producers–takes care of the details to make sure that stage still exists.
Many thanks to what UPN has done for us as well as many presenting organizations throughout Utah.
So toss, tip, or take off your cap to the Utah Presenters Network!
See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.