Thursday, May 19, 2022

Smiling person with curly blonde hair wearing a green vest, black top, and bold red lip sitting against a wooden wall.

Americans for the Arts presents our Annual Leadership Awards as part of the 2022 Annual Convention. These awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

The 2022 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award is presented to Crystal Young. Young is the Executive Director of the Utah Cultural Alliance and is motivated by an intense desire to leave the world better than she found it. She holds a core belief that spreading the gospel of the arts and culture will heal the world. 

With over 20 years of experience working in nonprofit management, consulting, branding, fundraising, event planning, lobbying, and elections, Crystal passionately believes that arts and culture should be framed as an industry and not a cause. 

Crystal is a two time Enlightened 50 (E-50) recipient from the Community Foundation of Utah, a certified Utah Change Leader, was named one of Utah Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2013, received a 2020 Star Award from the SCERA, has been featured as a Utah’s Educated Woman of the Week, and received the 2022 Legislative Award for Excellence in Political Affairs and Library Advocacy Award from Utah Library Association in 2022.
She has served on many boards and panels including the Utah Arts Alliance, Tanner Humanities Center, Utah Women & Politics PAC, BYU Political Affairs Society - UT chapter (co-chair), Better Utah Institute, and Utah Women’s Forum. 

Read more at about how Crystal and Utah Cultural Alliance are cultivating robust public investment in and policies that enhance the cultural industry and lifelong cultural education.

The Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape.