Wyoming Arts Alliance

ROCK SPRINGS — Rock Springs was named one of three pilot communities for the Wyoming Arts Alliance Professional Development Program, which is meant to meet professional development and leadership training needs critical to building a stronger consortium of voices in support of the arts as key components in community development and a creative statewide economy.

The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency and Community Fine Arts Center jointly applied for the program earlier this fall. The selection announcement was made at last month’s Wyoming Arts Council’s Arts Summit.

The Wyoming Arts Alliance’s mission is to advance a creative and culturally vibrant state, fulfilling their vision of “More art. Better Wyoming.” In support of that mission and vision, and supported by recommendations from the 2016 community forum and survey results, Wyoming Arts Alliance launched a pilot community professional development program.

The Rock Springs’ application touted the community’s growing art scene including the addition of large-scale murals, art events, Broadway Theater programing and other programs that take place annually in Rock Springs. They further identified the Main Street/URA’s “transformation strategies” for the downtown district, which include arts and culture.

“In real estate terms, downtown Rock Springs has ‘good bones.’ Within a few blocks you’ll find the Community Fine Arts Center, Rock Springs Historical Museum, Rock Springs public library, Broadway Theater and Actors’ Mission,” Community Fine Arts Center director Debora Soule said in a press release.

Couple those things with great programming happening at Western Wyoming Community College and other locations around the community, nominators said it’s easy to see why Rock Springs was selected.

“We’d love to build on our ‘Home of 56 Nationalities’ heritage and create new ways to embrace and celebrate it; the arts may be the perfect avenue to do so,” Rock Springs Main Street/URA Chairwoman Maria Mortensen said in the release.

Rock Springs will work collaboratively with Wyoming Arts Alliance’s Program Coordinator on all aspects of developing this unique pilot workshop. The program pilot project will serve as the basis for developing future similar workshops. All arts organizations and interested individuals will be invited to participate in the program, which will begin in earnest following the holidays.

“It’s always great to see Rock Springs being recognized for the great things happening here,” Mayor Tim Kaumo said in the release. “I’m excited to see how this program will further enhance the arts in Rock Springs.”

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