When Jocelyn Scudder traded in New York City for Park City, she found a way to connect the two sides of herself: the idealist and the realist. The idealist led her to NYC in the first place. It argued that 80 hour work weeks working at a print shop during thee day and waiting tables at night was worth it. The realist side of her wanted stability, or at least some level of balance, with compromising her career.
That’s where Park City came in.
Scudder had spent her first winter out of college in Park City and loved it. She envied her friends who stayed. She missed the mountain lifestyle. Then, she landed a job at the Kimball Art Center.
“Park City ended up being the perfect intersection between my true joys and career ambitions,” she says. “There’s an incredibly vibrant and connected community here and it’s something you don’t get as much in big cities.”
In Park City, Scudder found, you could live in a world-class destination that attracts big name talent and cultural events without sacrificing the mountain-town lifestyle.
This idea of connecting two ideals is something that has translated over to her work with the Park City Summit County Arts Council (PCSC Arts Council), a nonprofit organization that is literally in the business of connecting. As the managing director, Scudder and her team work to connect artists to residencies and funding, visitors to art showings and performances, and arts organizations to helpful resources.
This, Scudder says, is one of her favorite parts of the job. “We serve as a central resource for arts organizations and creatives who are looking to engage with the local community,” she says. “We have the privilege of connecting with all of the arts and culture stakeholders who make a difference in this community–creative people, organizations, businesses, and government leaders.”
The ability for anyone to access the arts is hugely important to Scudder. She believes the arts promote community vibrancy, aid with communication, and act as a platform for difficult
conversations. To put a not-so-simple concept simply, Scudder says: “Art is a language that spans every ethnicity, language, and boundary.”
One recent example of this was 2018’s youth engagement public art project, Future Is Now. It encouraged Summit County youth to gather and create text-based art with Brooklyn street artist Bisco Smith in the pedestrian tunnel between the Park City Visitor Information Center and Redstone. The project was executed with the help of the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board and Basin Recreation. Scudder says the project showed how art can be used as a tool, in this case, to connect kids and provide an outlet for them to express themselves.
On any given day, Scudder might be sharing data from Project ABC, Summit County’s new cultural plan, with an arts organization; acting as a liaison to the Public Art Advisory Boards; writing blog posts that promote local artists; or advocating for statewide investment in the arts. In every role, Scudder is continuing her work of establishing connection through the arts. Because, as she says, “When the arts are prioritized magical things happen.”