Community Rides is Back!

Welcome back to the Utah Transit Authority Community Rides blog series. In 2021, we will release an installment every month! In Community Rides we highlight organizations that use, support or work closely with UTA to better serve the Wasatch Front. This month, we are highlighting an organization that has been instrumental in the creation of a new program at UTA.

UTA Student Art Competition

The My BeUTAHful Community Student Art Competition, the first competition of its kind in Utah, starts February 1. Students from around the state who are grades K-12, may submit their visual art entries starting February 1 – March 16. Each entry will be based on the theme “Meet Your Neighbor.” More information about this program, including prizes and chances to have your artwork displayed, can be found at

UTA has partnered with a variety of community groups to create a fun, accessible and artistically inviting competition. These partnerships have allowed us to reach more students throughout the state, creating a more diverse competition.

Partnership with UA&M

The Utah Division of Arts and Museums (UA&M) is a service organization that offers a “variety of professional development opportunities and grants to schools, local arts agencies, organizations, municipalities, community centers, performing groups, museums, and individuals across Utah.” They are led by boards appointed by the Governor, and manage several art collections and programs, including the Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection, the Utah Public Art Program, and various traveling exhibitions. They are also the primary agency in the state who distributes state and federal funds to “stimulate and encourage growth in the creative industries.

Jean Tokuda-Irwin is the Arts Education Manager at UA&M and advised UTA’s community engagement team on the initial ideation phase of this project. With her guidance, the My BeUTAHful Community Student Art Competition will join the various programs UA&M supports.

Art is Key!

The UA&M recognizes that art is valuable for any person living in any part of the world, including urban and rural populations in our state. It is often more difficult for people living in rural settings to have access to the arts and to share their work widely. The UA&M reports that children involved in arts education have “improvements in academic performance, motor skills, confidence, decision-making, perseverance, focus, collaboration, and accountability.” These benefits translate to all areas of their lives, and UTA hopes to further encourage artistic endeavors in students from all parts of our beautiful state.

Art and Transit

UTA’s partnership with UA&M is the first of many in our work to further promote artwork and community building on our system. We recognize the essential part that transit plays in both connecting people with their community and representing the community to our riders. We are proud to work with UA&M to bring Utah students’ artistic endeavors to the forefront of our services.

Students are encouraged to submit their artwork for the My BeUTAHful Community Art Competition February 1 – March 16. Winning artwork will be displayed throughout the community and in the interior of our buses and trains. Learn more about Utah Division of Arts and Museums and submit your artwork at


About the Author

Samantha Aramburu currently works as the Community Relations Specialist at UTA. She has a B.A. in English and an M.P.A. Reading is kind of her thing, as are most dogs. 

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