Salt Lake City

Mayor's Office

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

Spy Hop’s new Youth Media Arts Center to be dedicated by Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall, City Council Member Valdemoros, and Heather Kahlert

SALT LAKE CITY – On April 28, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, City Council Member Ana Valdemoros will join Heather Kahlert, Vice President of the Kahlert Foundation, Missy Greis, Spy Hop Board Member and local business owner, and Kasandra VerBrugghen, Spy Hop Executive Director, for a dedication ceremony of Spy Hop’s new headquarters.

“Spy Hop has long been a part of the creative and innovative heartbeat of our city,” said Mayor and RDA Executive Director Mendenhall. “Thanks to the generosity of both public and private donors, Spy Hop now has a state-of-the art facility that will provide young minds with a safe and inspiring place to learn, perform, and create content that will be woven into our City’s creative fabric.”

The 22,000-square-foot building includes offices, programming and classroom spaces, production facilities, and a community event and performance venue and will be named after the Kahlert Foundation as The Kahlert Youth Media Arts Center.

“Spy Hop has created a space for youth that is unlike any other in Utah. This building will be dedicated to creative growth and development of young people,” Kahlert said. “Their commitment to preparing youth for a successful future benefits our society as a whole. The Kahlert Foundation is thrilled to invest in Spy Hop!”  

Spy Hop was selected to redevelop property owned by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) on the northwest corner of 200 West and 900 South, a key intersection of what has become known as the Central Ninth Neighborhood. To make this project possible, the RDA conducted environmental remediation, and the Board of Directors (the Salt Lake City Council) approved a $1 million forgivable loan to Spy Hop and a $487,000 write-down on the sale of the property. 

“The Kahlert Youth Media Arts Center is a vital piece of the RDA’s investment in the larger Central Ninth business district and neighborhood,” said City Council Member and RDA Board Chair Valdemoros. “The RDA Board commends Spy Hop for being a valuable redevelopment partner and looks forward to seeing this community-oriented space positively activate and serve the area for decades to come.” 

Designed by Atlas Architects and built by Okland Construction, the project received financing through Ally Bank, and additional financial support from the State of Utah and a number of generous foundations including the Kahlert Foundation. Significant donations were also received from The Katherine W. Dumke and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Foundation and the Larry H. Miller and Gail Miller Family Foundation, as well as many other generous contributions from community members. 

When: Wednesday, April 28 at 11 a.m.

Where:  Spy Hop’s new Youth Media Arts Center 208 W. 900 South, Salt Lake City

Who: Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall, City Council Member Valdemoros, Heather Kahlert,  Vice President of the Kahlert Foundation, Missy Greis, Spy Hop Board Member and local business owner, and Kasandra VerBrugghen, Spy Hop Executive Director.

Visuals: Following the dedication program, tours of the center will be available. Participants need to practice social distance and wear a mask.   

About Spy Hop:

Spy Hop is a digital media arts education organization offering project-based programming in Salt Lake City and across the state of Utah for students K-12 of all skill levels and aspirations. Its mission is to mentor young people in the digital media arts to help them find their voice, tell their stories, and be empowered to affect positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. Spy Hop recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary and in the course of its history has moved from serving 12 initial students to over 11,000 students statewide, making it one of the largest and most diverse youth media organizations in the U.S. Their model combines youth development, arts education, and career preparation to empower young people to gain the skills they need to be successful. More information is available at www.spyhop.org.

About the RDA:

The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) invests in Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods and business districts to improve livability, spark economic growth, and foster authentic communities, serving as a catalyst for strategic development projects that enhance the City’s housing opportunities, commercial vitality, and public spaces. For more information on programs and current projects visit www.slcrda.com. 

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