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West Jordan Journal

Council concerned with arts society’s financial report

May 30, 2022 06:09PM ● By Erin Dixon

The finances for the Cultural Arts Society of West Jordan, a supporter of local orchestras, was discussed by City Council. Changes may be made. (Image courtesy West Jordan Arts)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

West Jordan City has supported the performing arts since at least 1995, maybe longer, and until 2019 the art committee was part of the city government.

The two split in hopes of making finances easier for the Arts Committee.

The committee is now a nonprofit organization that receives regular financial support from the city, $60,000 each year. City officials ask for a list of all the committee's finances each year, and this year’s submitted report came under fire during a recent council meeting.

Councilmember Kayleen Whitelock noted she was “not pleased with their financial report, because it really didn’t show a good picture.”

Councilmember Kelvin Green was also concerned. “If we’re spending money on the cultural art society of West Jordan and they’re not truly a community arts…We offer these shows and these older kids go from West Valley, Sandy. Why are we funding other people to come in and do those performances?”

Councilmember Melissa Worthen voiced apprehension over the quality of the report. “I need to be able to defend their budget to the citizens. That financial report I don’t even know how to read it, let alone defend it.”

The council unanimously concurred the agreement with the Arts Committee needs to be redone. They asked city staff to create a contract that asks for zip codes of attendees, ages of participants, how much was collected in ticket sales, and how many free tickets were given to special guests.

Councilmember Chris McConnehey had his council seat before the city and art committee split, he pointed out they are still learning the ropes of the new arrangement.

“It’s only in the last few years they became a private nonprofit,” McConnehey said. “These are folks who have a very rich background in theater, they aren’t as experienced with finance or running a non-profit.”