Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the appointment of Felicia Baca and Kristian Anderson to help lead Salt Lake City’s arts and culture efforts. Felicia Baca was selected to become the City’s new Arts Division Director and Kristian Anderson will be appointed as Mayor Biskupski’s Senior Advisor for Arts and Culture.
Since 2012, Felicia Baca has served as the Visual Arts Program Manager with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, overseeing all aspects of the program including exhibitions, community partnerships, funding programs, and events. The Division’s Visual Arts Program operates two gallery spaces in Salt Lake City, as well as maintains Utah’s state-owned art collection with works on display at the Governor’s Mansion, the State Capitol Building, and the Scott Matheson Courthouse. The program also oversees a number of temporary and travelling exhibitions, and the Visual Arts Fellowships.
“I have so much pride and love for Salt Lake City and am truly excited to help lead the City’s arts program,” said Baca on her appointment. “An engaging and diverse arts and culture community is among the primary reasons people choose to live in cities and neighborhoods. The intersection of art and government creates an opportunity for us to listen to the needs of residents, so we can implement cultural programs that will can build equitable, vibrant, and sustainable communities.”
Baca has also served various roles at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, TATE Britain, and Salt Lake City’s YouthCity Artways program. She is currently serving on the Salt Lake County Art Acquisitions Board, The Blocks Community Advisory Board, and KRCL’s Community Advisory Board.
In her role as Division Director, Felicia Baca will also serve as the Executive Director of the Arts Council Foundation, a separate 501c3 organization.
Kristian Anderson is currently the Executive Director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), responsible for overseeing all functions of the Salt Lake City-based museum with a history stretching back to 1931. During his tenure, the museum launched the acclaimed Out Loud Program, an artistic platform for youth voices in the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as expanded UMOCA’s comprehensive Artists in Residents program which promotes the work of artists living and working in Utah.
Anderson has also served as Director of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (Seattle), the Jacob Lawrence Gallery (Seattle), and the UMC Art Gallery at the University of Colorado. He is currently the Treasurer of the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association and a board member of Women’s Ski Jumping USA.
“This is an incredible opportunity to think on a high level about how Salt Lake City positions itself as an arts and culture destination,” said Anderson on the appointment. “As the capital, Salt Lake City is in a unique position to elevate the diverse voices of Utah. With so many upcoming high-profile projects, there is a rich canvas for us to reflect the different communities which call this place home.”
As part of the Department of Economic Development, the Salt Lake City Arts Division oversees the development, promotion, and implementation of creative programs and policy for the Salt Lake City Arts Council. The Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Arts and Culture provides executive level policy guidance to the Mayor, serving as an ambassador between the City’s larger arts and culture community and the Administration.
“We know arts and culture plays a critical role in the success of our City, including helping to drive our local economy and promote equity,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “With their unique backgrounds, not only in successfully running arts organizations, but in elevating the diversity of our community, Felicia and Kristian will build upon our success to continue the cultural renaissance happening in Salt Lake City.”