Helper City Mayor Lenise Peterman recently had the Utah Arts and Museum call a unique artistic opportunity to her attention. It was believed by those at the museum that the city could use more performing and different types of arts, not as heavy on the visual aspects the city have become known for.
With this in mind, the proposal of a Helper Poet Laureate Program was created. There will be no compensation associated. Mayor Peterman stated that they are fortunate in that they have a couple of local area poets providing the service, hosting workshops and going to the schools. She wished to bring the program to the council’s attention to review, question and discuss.
The position would be a two-year post and those chosen would have to meet certain requirements. The only thing that the city would be responsible for is providing facilities to host workshops and have them open to the public. While this program was met with enthusiasm by the council, Councilman Gary Harwood questioned the wording in the contract pertaining to the access to the public buildings.
Mayor Peterman stated that she would be happy to tighten the wording if that is the council’s wish or to strike out the line altogether. The concern was to ensure the protection of a number of the buildings.
Mayor Peterman also explained that the Poet Laureate from the state would be visiting the city on March 11 to work with Helper Middle School and do a reading at the Rio Theater. Former Carbon County Attorney Jeremy Humes also expressed the need to make clear that the individual would need to request approval by the city before use of public property or buildings. Mayor Peterman then told the council that there will be individuals in attendance at the upcoming meeting that are interested in serving in the role.
Those interested do not have to fill out an application but do need to complete a letter of interest. They can be self-nominated or can be a nomination from the council. Save a change of wording, the Poet Laureate Program was approved.