Salt Lake City

Mayor's Office

Erin Mendenhall | (801) 535-7704 | mayor@slcgov.com

Recipients for Mayor’s Artist Awards Announced

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is honored to announce the winners of the 2020 Mayor’s Artists Awards. Recipients will be honored in a Facebook live broadcast with Mayor Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Arts Council Director Felicia Baca on June 26 at 10 a.m. on the Utah Arts Festival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/utahartsfestival.

Since 1992, the Mayor’s Artist Awards have recognized individuals and organizations who have made an impactful and creative contribution to the residents and visitors of Salt Lake City. This year’s recipients embody the values that make Salt Lake City an engaging, lively, and inclusive place to live. Mayor Mendenhall’s priorities for Salt Lake City focus on growth for good, ingenuity, environment, and equity and access – all of which are reflected in this year’s recipients. 

“Artists and cultural organizations are a critical part of our civic pride, inclusion of our residents, and reflection of what makes Salt Lake City a unique and vibrant place to live, work, and play,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “During this challenging time, we know more than ever the arts will be the lever that brings our community back to gather, celebrate, and belong.”

In 1976 Salt Lake City was awarded a $50,000 City Spirit Grant for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. Former Mayor Ted Wilson used the money to create the Salt Lake City Arts Council, now in its 40th year and launched the Salt Lake Festival of the Arts, which later became the Utah Arts Festival, an independent 501-C3 non-profit organization. In fulfillment of its mission, the Utah Arts Festival turned its attention this year to honoring the work of the artists selected to participate each Friday in June with

“Festival Vibes Fridays” a virtual program that occurred throughout June. More can be found at https://uaf.org/.

2020 Mayor’s Artist Award Recipients:

Shandra Benito

Shandra Benito is a social worker, disability rights advocate, trumpet player, and art enthusiast from Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Master of Social Work Program and has worked alongside and served many different communities including individuals with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, immigrants, refugees, and native and indigenous people. She is proud to identify as a person with a disability and as a member of the Deaf community. 

Pilar Pobil

Born in 1926 and raised in Mallorca, Spain, Pilar is a published author and self-taught artist working in various mediums including acrylic, watercolor, oil and clay. Pilar came to Salt Lake City in 1956 when she married Utah native Walter Smith. Pilar was named one of Utah’s 15 Most Influential Artists by Artists of Utah in 2019, was a recipient of the Utah Governor’s Award for Visual Arts in 2012 and was knighted by the King of Spain in 2016 for her extraordinary contributions to the arts and to Spanish culture. 

Brittany Reese

Brittany Reese is the Director of Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, Founder of the non-profit Sugar Space Foundation, and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. She has performed, taught and choreographed with a variety of companies in Taiwan, Brazil, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and throughout the United States. She developed Sugar Space in 2007 out of a need for a curated, professional training and showing venue in Salt Lake City. Its mission is to provide space and support for artists of all disciplines as well as engage the community.  It supports innovative and experimental artists as well as hosts multi-disciplinary arts programs, residencies, performances, classes, and exhibitions. 

1520 Arts (Formerly the Bboy Federation) 

1520 Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that showcases Hip Hop Arts as a viable path to success through competitions, workshops, performances, mentorship, and education for youth and adults. Formerly called Bboy Federation, the organization’s programs combine art and movement with context and education about Hip Hop Culture. 1520 Arts acknowledges that Hip Hop was a means for youth to avoid gang violence and was a musical form that brought multiple cultures together that may have not spoken the same language or shared the same culture. 

Clever Octopus Creative Reuse Center

Clever Octopus Inc is the only creative reuse organization in Utah offering unique art and craft materials diverted from the waste-streams of individuals, businesses, and industries. In 2020, Clever Octopus experienced unprecedented growth and expanded its location to a larger building in South Salt Lake where we house a variety of classes and workshops for the community. 

More information can be found here: 

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is honored to announce the winners of the 2020 Mayor’s Artists Awards. Recipients will be honored in a Facebook live broadcast with Mayor Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Arts Council Director Felicia Baca on June 26 at 10 a.m. on the Utah Arts Festival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/utahartsfestival.

Since 1992, the Mayor’s Artist Awards have recognized individuals and organizations who have made an impactful and creative contribution to the residents and visitors of Salt Lake City. This year’s recipients embody the values that make Salt Lake City an engaging, lively, and inclusive place to live. Mayor Mendenhall’s priorities for Salt Lake City focus on growth for good, ingenuity, environment, and equity and access – all of which are reflected in this year’s recipients. 

“Artists and cultural organizations are a critical part of our civic pride, inclusion of our residents, and reflection of what makes Salt Lake City a unique and vibrant place to live, work, and play,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “During this challenging time, we know more than ever the arts will be the lever that brings our community back to gather, celebrate, and belong.”

In 1976 Salt Lake City was awarded a $50,000 City Spirit Grant for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. Former Mayor Ted Wilson used the money to create the Salt Lake City Arts Council, now in its 40th year and launched the Salt Lake Festival of the Arts, which later became the Utah Arts Festival, an independent 501-C3 non-profit organization. In fulfillment of its mission, the Utah Arts Festival turned its attention this year to honoring the work of the artists selected to participate each Friday in June with

“Festival Vibes Fridays” a virtual program that occurred throughout June. More can be found at https://uaf.org/.

2020 Mayor’s Artist Award Recipients:

Shandra Benito

Shandra Benito is a social worker, disability rights advocate, trumpet player, and art enthusiast from Seattle, WA. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Master of Social Work Program and has worked alongside and served many different communities including individuals with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, immigrants, refugees, and native and indigenous people. She is proud to identify as a person with a disability and as a member of the Deaf community. 

Pilar Pobil

Born in 1926 and raised in Mallorca, Spain, Pilar is a published author and self-taught artist working in various mediums including acrylic, watercolor, oil and clay. Pilar came to Salt Lake City in 1956 when she married Utah native Walter Smith. Pilar was named one of Utah’s 15 Most Influential Artists by Artists of Utah in 2019, was a recipient of the Utah Governor’s Award for Visual Arts in 2012 and was knighted by the King of Spain in 2016 for her extraordinary contributions to the arts and to Spanish culture. 

Brittany Reese

Brittany Reese is the Director of Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, Founder of the non-profit Sugar Space Foundation, and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. She has performed, taught and choreographed with a variety of companies in Taiwan, Brazil, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and throughout the United States. She developed Sugar Space in 2007 out of a need for a curated, professional training and showing venue in Salt Lake City. Its mission is to provide space and support for artists of all disciplines as well as engage the community.  It supports innovative and experimental artists as well as hosts multi-disciplinary arts programs, residencies, performances, classes, and exhibitions. 

1520 Arts (Formerly the Bboy Federation) 

1520 Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that showcases Hip Hop Arts as a viable path to success through competitions, workshops, performances, mentorship, and education for youth and adults. Formerly called Bboy Federation, the organization’s programs combine art and movement with context and education about Hip Hop Culture. 1520 Arts acknowledges that Hip Hop was a means for youth to avoid gang violence and was a musical form that brought multiple cultures together that may have not spoken the same language or shared the same culture. 

Clever Octopus Creative Reuse Center

Clever Octopus Inc is the only creative reuse organization in Utah offering unique art and craft materials diverted from the waste-streams of individuals, businesses, and industries. In 2020, Clever Octopus experienced unprecedented growth and expanded its location to a larger building in South Salt Lake where we house a variety of classes and workshops for the community. 

More information can be found here: 

https://uaf.org/mayorawards

http://saltlakearts.org/

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