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Utah Arts Festival: Starting the case for ZAP

First Published      Last Updated Jun 26 2014 08:45 pm

Carter Livingston looks in every direction from his booth at the Art Yard at the Utah Arts Festival, and he sees the impact of Salt Lake County's Zoo, Arts and Parks tax program.

The neighboring children's craft booths are sponsored by such non-profit groups as the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Tracy Aviary — which receive ZAP funds.

Elsewhere on the festival grounds is a booth run by Spy Hop Productions, and in the festival program is an ad for Kingsbury Hall. Both of those are ZAP recipients.

So is the Utah Arts Festival itself — part of a long list that Livingston can reel off: The Natural History Museum of Utah, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Discovery Gateway, Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Red Butte Garden, Hogle Zoo ... and so on.

Livingston is running the campaign to get Salt Lake County voters to vote in favor of the ZAP program in November's election.

Under the law by which the Utah Legislature let counties establish ZAP funds by raising the sales tax one-tenth of 1 percent (a penny on $10 spent), the programs expire every 10 years — and must be reauthorized by voters.

According to Livingston, voters liked ZAP in 2004, the last time there was a reauthorization measure on the ballot. The program passed with 71 percent of the vote.

Livingston said the booth at the Utah Arts Festival is "just waving the flag" to remind people of what ZAP does for the community.

"It's been a very positive part of Salt Lake County for almost 20 years," Livingston said. "If the people of Salt Lake County continue to see value in that, they will continue to suppot it."