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Grant Amounts (Individuals): $5,000 – $10,000
Grant Amounts (Organizations): $10,000 – $50,000
APPLICATION CLOSED


Grant Portal
Wake the Great Salt Lake Guidelines
Wake the Great Salt Lake Application Questions
Lineamientos del programa en español 
Questions from Applicants

Wake the Great Salt Lake is a temporary public art project that aims to educate and inspire residents and visitors to understand and prevent the further decline of the Great Salt Lake. 

This Call for Artists will provide grant funds to seven to twelve (7–12) temporary public art projects originating in all seven Salt Lake City Council Districts. Projects will take place between July 1, 2024, and September 30, 2025. 

 Click here to view grant program Orientation Video.

Program Overview

Grant Program Purpose

Wake the Great Salt Lake is a temporary public art project that aims to educate and inspire residents and visitors to understand and prevent the further decline of the Great Salt Lake. Without action, the collapse of the Great Salt Lake would have major implications for the ecology and economy of the city, state, and region. The project is supported by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. (See PROJECT BACKGROUND below for additional details.)

This Call for Artists will provide grant funds to seven to twelve (7–12) temporary public art projects originating in all seven Salt Lake City Council Districts. Projects will take place between July 1, 2024, and September 30, 2025. The program is available to individual artists, creative residents, or organizations with a local impact in Salt Lake City.

Artwork Goals

Projects may meet any of the following goals:

  • Provide wider awareness of the current condition and urgency of the declining Great Salt Lake;
  • Create accurate and informed understanding of the reasons behind the drying of the Great Salt Lake;
  • Compel individuals to take action;
  • Engage local artists, scientists, organizations, and community members in the production or presentation of the project;
  • Expand and amplify the reach and impact of the Wake the Great Salt Lake project;
  • Proposals that are considered experimental or innovative (in materials, process, or themes) are highly encouraged;
  • Projects that occur in creative or unexpected “locations” (physical or not) to maximize visibility are encouraged.

Program Description

Contingent on receipt of grant funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Salt Lake City Arts Council aims to distribute approximately $200,000 to an undetermined number of individual artists or organizations before July 12, 2024. Grants to individual artists will be made in the following three amounts: $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. Organizations may apply for $10,000 - $50,000. The amount granted will be based on the request and the application's overall ranking in accordance with the Artwork Goals and Evaluation Criteria. Applicants are encouraged to write their project in close alignment with the Artwork Goals and Evaluation Criteria whenever possible.

Grant funds will be distributed to recipients in two (2) payments.

Eligible Disciplines & Media

This funding opportunity is available to artists across all disciplines but must be temporary in nature. Examples include but are not limited to: visual art; literary arts; performing arts; music; new media and technology (audio, visual, digital; web based, gaming, time-based media, etc.); socially engaged practice/community based art; performance art; land/installation art; film/video; experimental art forms; conceptual art; and architecture.

Approaches & Artistic Vision

While considering the artwork goals, artists are encouraged to engage with and approach projects creatively through their artistic media of choice, whether place-based or not. Approaches and strategies could include art as advocacy, policy engagement, documentation and witnessing, collaboration and community engagement, critical reflection and dialogue, educational initiatives, imagining of alternative futures, intersectionality and inclusion, interpretation of history and tradition, creative artistic interventions, and intersectional and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Temporary public art includes, but is not limited to:

  • Murals
  • Sculptures and installations
  • Interactive art exhibits
  • Pop-up art galleries
  • Performance art
  • Temporary installations
  • Projection mapping
  • Community art projects
  • Temporary land art
  • Artistic interventions

Topics

Projects need to address the issue of the declining Great Salt Lake directly or indirectly. Projects will be structured around and could include, but are not limited to: 

  • water conservation
  • air quality and pollution
  • industry and the economy 
  • ecology and ecosystems
  • social and environmental justice, including indigenous histories and historically marginalized communities
  • food systems and agriculture
  • cultural heritage and identity
  • climate anxiety and mental health
  • community resilience

Location & Context

Projects are not required to have a physical presence (such as time-based, virtual, mail art, etc.) However, works that exist in physical locations could take place in galleries, performance spaces, public parks, restaurants, small businesses, hospitals, prisons, schools, rehabilitation centers, and other such locations within Salt Lake City boundaries. Projects may occur on private property in areas that have high public visibility or access to the intended audiences. Any permitting, contracts/agreements, or regulatory requirements with the City is the responsibility of the property owner and/or applicant. Possible contexts include, but are not limited to, exhibitions, performances, festivals/fairs, symposiums, showcases, markets, panels, workshops, service projects, or educational contexts. Projects outside Salt Lake City need prior approval in order to apply. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with location questions.

Chosen locations should focus on maximizing visibility and awareness of the topic. Projects are required to present a minimum of one public activation or presentation.

Program Guidelines

Applications for Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Wake the Great Salt Lake Call for Artists must be submitted and administered by an individual artist/creative resident* OR an organization with a local impact in Salt Lake City who meets all of the following Eligibility Criteria at the time of submission:

  1. Is a current resident of OR has a strong tie to the State of Utah;
  2. Is legally able to receive taxable income in the U.S. (e.g. citizen, green cardholder, and/or permanent resident who can provide a W9 and SSN or ITIN);
  3. Is 18 years of age or older;
  4. Is an individual person. Artist groups/collectives are ineligible to apply as such*;
    OR
    Is a legal organization with a business license in Utah;
  5. Is a practicing artist, engaged citizen, or organization able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, career, and a public audience;
  6. Is able to develop and implement a project within the boundaries of Salt Lake City which is open to the public between July 1, 2024, and September 30, 2025**;
  7. If Applicable: Addresses safety considerations for both installation and public interaction.
*Artist-led teams or collective applications are welcomed, but one individual must apply as the lead. Teams may not substitute team members after submission unless the Salt Lake Arts Council consents to any proposed substitution. An artist may not apply as a member of more than one team and may not apply as an individual artist if already applying as a team – each person may only be associated with one application.
**Projects that extend past September 30, 2025, or take place at a relevant location to the theme of this grant may be considered even if they are outside the boundaries of Salt Lake City. Please reach out to the grant administrators to confirm eligibility before completing and submitting the grant.

Funding Limitations

Funds cannot be expended for the following activities and/or expenses:

  1. Activities and/or expenses incurred outside of the grant timeline (July 1, 2024, through September 30, 2025*);
  2. Activities and/or expenses already completed. Project should be a new idea or a project that is being enhanced by new elements previously not employed;
  3. Activities and/or expenses which are sub-granted in any way. Subcontracting is a permissible use which must be approved through the grant application process;
  4. Projects which do not have a noticeable impact on Salt Lake City residents. To determine if your project’s location is within Salt Lake City boundaries*, visit the Salt Lake City Resident Representation Map online
*Projects that extend past September 30, 2025, or take place at a relevant location to the theme of this grant may be considered even if they are outside the boundaries of Salt Lake City. Please reach out to the grant administrators to confirm eligibility before completing and submitting the grant.

Funding Usage

Every funded application must result in temporary public art of some kind. Funding usage for your project must adhere to the following:

  1. All Funding Limitations and Additional Requirements listed above;
  2. All funded expenses must be justified in context with the development or implementation of your project. The following fund uses may be allowed only if the related expense(s) can be justified in context with a public project:
    1. Artist Fees and Honoraria: Use of funds to compensate yourself or other artists.
  3. All personnel involved in your project must be paid, at a minimum, a livable wage of $18.06 per hour as defined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator. This includes artists, subcontractors, and existing employees of your organization.

Additional Requirements

Additional eligibility and/or limitations may be added at any time with written notice to funded projects.

Application Key Dates

  • Application Opens: Thursday, March 7, 2024
  • Virtual Grant Program Orientation: Thursday, March 14, 2024, at 3:00pm
    Click here to view recorded orientation.
  • Application Closes: Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 11:00am
    No application submitted after this date will be accepted. Absolutely no exceptions will be made. 
  • Application Review: April 2024 - June 2024
  • Salt Lake City Arts Council Board Meeting: Wednesday, June 19 June 26, 2024, at 5:30pm 
    Date changed due to Juneteenth holiday.
  • Written Grant Notification: Friday, June 21, 2024, before 5:00pm
  • Grant Agreement Form Acceptance: Friday, June 28, 2024, before 5:00pm
  • Virtual Grantee Orientation: Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
    If granted, you must attend the orientation meeting. Please reserve this time on your calendar now to avoid potential conflicts.
  • First Grant Distribution of 50% of award: July 2024
  • Final Grant Distribution: Upon completion and review of the final report

All Correspondence will be conducted through email. Please be sure that your account lists current contact information and that your email address is not filtering out any emails sent from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email accounts.

Selection Criteria & Process

Applications will go through a three-step process of evaluation. Projects with strong connections to the overarching project goals will be selected to produce their project during the grant timeline. Reviewers will use this rubric as a guide when reviewing applications.

Final selection will be made by the project curators and presented to the Salt Lake City Arts Council Board of Directors. The Board consists of community members that represent a diverse group of artists, professionals, and patrons of the arts from the seven Salt Lake City Council Districts. Applicants may attend the public Board meeting on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 5:30 p.m.

Initial Review

The Salt Lake City Arts Council staff will review applications for eligibility, location, overall scope of project, community impact, engagement, fiscal responsibility, and feasibility of project based on budget and description.

Committee Review

A committee comprised of one Salt Lake Art Design Board member, one Arts Council Board member, community members including partner organizations, scientists, and Salt Lake City staff will review all advanced proposals. The committee will review and rank proposals within each City Council district based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy and feasibility of the project
  • Demonstrated and perceived ability of artist/organization to execute the proposed project.

After a comprehensive discussion of all advanced proposals, a report and the full proposals will be submitted to the curatorial team for review.

Curator Selection

The curation team, comprised of Arts Council leadership and selected stakeholders, will review the advanced proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the goals and themes of the project;
  • Demonstration of potential for inspiring future artistic endeavors or community initiatives;
  • Embrace of a diverse range of artistic styles, genres, and cultural influences;
  • Representation of artists of diverse backgrounds and experiences;
  • Sustainability and environmental impact considerations;
  • Innovation and originality in concept and execution.

The curators will review the ranked applications and select approximately seven (7) to twelve (12) finalists.

Finance & Budget Information

All applicants must submit a detailed budget using the provided budget template. Provide a clear and detailed budget justification, including cost estimates for materials and any associated expenses.

If you have questions regarding your budget, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or schedule an office hour meeting with the grants staff. We are happy to assist with simple or complicated questions you may have about the budget or grant application.

All budgets must balance, meaning expenses may not exceed income (grant award plus any additional funds for the project). We acknowledge that this budget represents an estimation of income and expenses. As such, funded applicants will have opportunities throughout the grant program to submit change requests which better align with current economic conditions. All applicants are encouraged to submit budgets which thoughtfully consider rising costs of materials and supplies, supporting individuals engaged in their project with a livable wage (themselves included), and to adhere to all Funding Limitations outlined above. The grants staff is available to provide support with creating budgets.

Additional Support

Frequently Asked Questions

All questions or concerns regarding this grant program should be submitted through email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please review the complete guidelines document prior to emailing any questions. Once submitted, please allow 2 business days for a response. Additionally, all questions and answers may be released for any applicant to see, unless such release includes sensitive personal information. 

Answers to questions from applicants will be updated here as necessary.

QUESTION: I am a new applicant and creating a new account. What do I enter in the field asking for a business EIN?

A: If you are applying as an individual artist, please enter zeroes in this field. The business EIN is used to verify non-profit status for organizations applying.   

QUESTION: My organization is submitting an application, but we are also going to be listed as a partner on another application. Will that affect my eligibility?

A: As long as the two applications are for separate projects, this is fine and will not have any effect on your eligibility. An organization can only submit one application, but it's ok to be listed as a partner on additional applications.

QUESTION: I am submitting an application as an individual, but I am also going to be listed as a partner on another artist's application. Will that affect my eligibility?

A: As long as the two applications are not for the same project, this is fine and will not have any effect on your eligibility. An individual can only submit one application, but it's ok to be listed as a partner or collaborator on additional applications.

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Office Hours

From March 5, 2024, to April 12, 2024, four (4) days before the deadline, applicants are encouraged to schedule one (1) 25-minute appointment with the grants staff. The purpose of this meeting is to ask questions which are not answered in the Program Guidelines or Frequently Asked Questions. We are happy to help you with any additional technical or adaptive questions or concerns you may have, as well as answer specific questions you might have regarding your materials or application. We are administrators of the program and, as such, we have to maintain a level of fairness to all applicants.

To schedule your 25 minute appointment with the grant administrator, please click here.

Contact Us

Our staff are here to provide as much help and assistance for easing your application process as we can offer. If you have any additional questions not found on our Frequently Asked Questions page about the application, guidelines, or other technical or adaptive questions, please contact Salt Lake City Arts Council Community Investment and Development Manager, Susan Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Project Background

Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge brings together mayors, residents, and artists to develop innovative, temporary public art projects that address important civic issues in their communities. Since 2014, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge has spurred more than $100 million in economic benefits for participating cities and action across a range of civic issues like climate change, equity, revitalization, and more. Salt Lake City was one of only eight cities selected nationwide in 2023 for a $1million Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant. The winning project, Wake the Great Salt Lake, will include temporary public artworks across all seven Salt Lake City Council Districts, including a large-scale centerpiece installation by a nationally and/or internationally renowned artist, to inspire connection with the Lake, understanding of the issue, and spur action.

Recently, Great Salt Lake has experienced record-breaking low levels due to overuse, climate change-fueled drought, and diversion. In a 2022 New York Times article, Joel Ferry, a Republican state lawmaker and rancher, described the shrinking of the largest body of saltwater in the western hemisphere as a “potential environmental nuclear bomb.”Dr. Brain Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment declared that the drying lake presents “a bona fide, documented, and unquestionable health hazard” to millions of people, as deadly arsenic deposited in the Lake is kicked up by the wind and delivers poisonous air to three-quarters of Utah’s population who reside in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.

The economic and ecological impacts are many and some are already being felt. These conditions threaten millions of migratory birds and 80% of Utah’s wetlands. Resulting weather patterns threaten the world-renowned ski industry, Utah’s future growth as the fastest growing state in the country, as well as $2.5 billion annually in industries that rely on the Lake. Scientists have recommended that lawmakers implement emergency measures to save this body of water, and failure to do so could result in complete extinction within five years. Cited as parallel to Owens Lake, CA, the largest single source of dust pollution in the US, Paul Krugman in The New York Times asked, “if we can’t save the Great Salt Lake, what chance do we have of saving the planet?”

About our Funding Partner

Bloomberg Philanthropies works to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people by focusing on five key areas: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation, and public health. In October of 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Eight New U.S. Cities to Receive Public Art Challenge Grants. Salt Lake City is one of these eight cities to be funded with a grant in the amount of $1,000,000 to address the drying of the Great Salt Lake. With these funds, the Salt Lake City Arts Council will support several temporary public art installations aimed at educating and inspiring both residents and visitors to the region. publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org

The Salt Lake City Arts Council is a division of Salt Lake City Corporation in the Department of Economic Development and also maintains a nonprofit corporation, the Salt Lake City Arts Council Foundation with 501(c)(3) status.

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