Art & Art History alumnus, Brian Taylor, screen printing at Arts Bash

PHOTO CREDIT: Spencer Sandstrom

Art & Art History alumnus, Brian Taylor, screen printing at Arts Bash

In conjunction with the annual Distinguished Alumni Award celebrations, the University of Utah College of Fine Arts just published findings from its 2016 survey of local companies’ demand for a creative workforce, and the outlook is very positive for students of the arts.

More than two dozen Utah companies responded and include industries such as travel and tourism, higher education, nonprofits, regional arts organizations, videogame developers, communications firms, media outlets and political think tanks. They are based all across the state and ranged in size from two to 18,000 employees with both local and international reaches.

“As we suspected, the demand for artists’ skills and experiences among Utah businesses is very high,” said Raymond Tymas-Jones, associate vice president for the arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We know from previous research that in addition to becoming experts in their art forms, 89 percent of our alumni reported developing creative thinking and problem solving skills – which these businesses have identified as paramount to their success.”

The demand for creativity is present for sectors both in and out of the arts, and is driving the innovation needed for companies to accommodate the rapid change their industries are experiencing.

For example, 97 percent of the companies surveyed said the businesses in their industry can only remain relevant if they have a creative workforce, and among those attributes deemed important by hiring managers, creativity ranked the highest, with 91 percent of respondents designating it important.

More than half (55 percent) of all companies surveyed said their industries change more over time than others, and 61 percent of all businesses said that in their industry, the connection between agility (the ability to keep up with current trends) and stability (the ability to sustain business growth) is strong.

Throughout all the data, it became evident just how interconnected creativity is with all aspects of success, from individuals’ professional success to companies’ business success.

On Sept. 29 at 10:45 a.m. in Nancy Peery Marriott Auditorium of Kingsbury Hall, the college will honor five distinguished alumni in the areas of art (Brad Smith), dance (Linda C. Smith), film (Tori Baker), music (Adelaide Sinclair) and theatre (Jeff Frank) who are living examples of the graduates’ impact in the professional world. These alumni have gone on from their studies in college to perform around the world, use theatre to teach youth, run arts nonprofits and even break ground in medical research.

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Media Contacts

Marina Gombergassociate director of communications and marketing, University College of Fine Arts
Office: 801-585-6237

Jana Cunninghamcommunications director, College of Humanities
Office: 801-213-0866