Mission & History

About Art Access

Since its inception in June 1984, Art Access has been committed to providing equal opportunities to inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to the arts. We are a community-focused organization that strives to demonstrate that the arts are a universal vehicle for drawing out our similarities, celebrating our differences, and ultimately connecting us to each other. Through our philosophy of inclusion, we serve people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

Art Access offers a diverse collection of mission-driven programs, including gallery exhibitions, workshops, artist residencies, literary arts activities, a mentorship program, and community outreach. Many of these programs have benefited from partnerships with local educational, artistic, and public service organizations. We are an affiliate of VSA, which is a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through its Office of VSA & Accessibility. We are the only arts organization in Utah that focuses on serving individuals with disabilities and, in 2014, we celebrated 30 years of making a creative difference in our community. 

Art Access embraces the idea that the arts provide the perfect means for people to tell their stories, articulate their identities, and to educate a great number of individuals for the common good. Through its philosophy of inclusion, Art Access serves a diverse population of adults and children with and without disabilities, as well as the elderly, youth-at-risk, refugees, the homeless, veterans, and other disenfranchised peoples. By engaging the community in educational and artful experiences through our galleries and programming, Art Access continues to play a significant role in helping to eliminate social barriers and create an inclusive world for everyone through art. 

Recognition & Honors

  • 2013 Salt Lake City Weekly Arty for Best Photography Exhibition
  • 2012 KSL Salt Lake County A List for Best Art Gallery
  • 2011 Salt Lake City Weekly Arty for Best Illustration Exhibition
  • 2011 VSA Award for Excellence in Organizational Management
  • 2008 VSA Award for Excellence in Professional Development
  • 2007 Disability Law Center's Image Award for Community Justice
  • 2007 VSA Award for Excellence in Educational Programming
  • 2005 City Weekly Best of Utah Art Workshop Series
  • 2003 Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Legacy Award for Supporting the Arts in Education
  • 2001 Salt Lake City Mayor's Artists Award for Exceptional Service to the Arts Community
  • 1997 Governor's Award in the Arts
  • 1995 Downtown Alliance Award in the Arts

Media

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Our 300 Plates Fundraiser and Exhibition takes place the third Thursday in May each year.

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