Derek Dyer, named by Community Foundation of Utah as one of the “50 Enlightened Entrepreneurs of Utah,” is an artist, arts administrator, and advocate for the arts and social causes.
Derek is the founder of Utah Arts Alliance (UAA) and has been the Executive Director since its creation in 2003. Through his efforts the organization has grown far ten fold. The organization can now boast of two fine arts galleries, a full service music studio and publishing label, The Cube black box theater, the SLC Arts Hub facility serving a large and diverse array of artists and community programs, a yearly arts festival, and much more.
In addition to building the UAA over the years, Derek is an active volunteer, fundraising coordinator, and Board/ Committee member for numerous arts related organizations including: Utah Cultural Alliance, The Grand Theater, Element 11, and the SLC Downtown Alliance.
Derek has also been a professional artist for over a decade and has exhibited extensively at the local and national levels. Noteworthy national publications include: USA Today, CNN, and Maxim Magazine. Derek is also proud creator and owner of the World’s Largest Disco Ball, which earned him official recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records, in 2005.
Michael Christensen is the Programming Director at the Utah Arts Alliance (his ‘baby’ is the community arts program, “Connect”).
Feeding off the insatiable vibes of his boss (Derek Dyer), Michael is essentially obsessed with developing community/ organization infrastructure that enables people to more easily fulfill their creative dreams. (He believes that creativity can change the world.)
Michael has worked with the Utah Arts Alliance since 2010. He has lived in Utah since birth (1988).
In his spare time, Michael loves: writing, filmmaking, sketching, movie watching, book reading, observing humanity, science projects, games, photography, music composition, spending time with his family/ friends, going for “thinking” walks, and listening to Ray Kurzweil talk (with sobering clarity) about the coming “Technological Singularity.”
A Salt Lake City resident since 1995, David joined Utah Arts Alliance (UAA) in 2015. A Cleveland, Ohio native, David had a successful 32 year career with the American Cancer Society and among his positions was National Vice President for Division Services where he oversaw the operations of eight Western states, including Utah.
A graduate of Ohio University, he comes to UAA with 20 plus years of diversified progressive fundraising experience. David has a keen desire in seeing UAA thrive and believes Utah deserves the best in art programs and artist support.
David has been active in community affairs through Rotary of Salt Lake, University of Utah Crimson Club, YMCA and Little League Baseball as well as other organizations. He and his wife Brooke, who is an artist, reside in the Salt Lake City, “Avenues” neighborhood and are avid Utah Opera and Symphony patrons.
Andrew Barrett Watson
Venues Manager & Special Event Coordinator
Andrew has recently joined the UAA, having moved to Utah from Pittsburgh. He’s very excited to have found such an incredibly vibrant arts scene in Northern Utah!
While in Pittsburgh, Andrew served as Director of Operations for the Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, worked in special events and development for the Pittsburgh CLO and opened a Middle Eastern café & performance space that was voted Best Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh.
With a BFA in the theatre from Montclair State University, he has worked most of his life in and around the performing arts. He has traveled to 33 countries and lived in Marrakech, Istanbul & New Zealand. He believes that great cities deserve great art.
Director of Recording Arts
Kent is a licensed architect and is employed by ajc architects, SLC, as a Senior Associate, and has more than 43 years of architectural experience.
Kent was the UAA Gallery Director at the 300 West and Main Street Galleries between 2006 and 2014.
Built and operated the UAA MRP recording studio at 127 S. Main Street from 2008 until the City demolished the building in 20014. The UAA obtained the legendary Counterpoint Studios at 2335 S. West Temple St., SLC, in 2014, which is now home to MRP, where the focus remains on providing discounted, high quality recording services in a world class recording studio. Has provided discounted recording services for the UAA for more than 50 projects in the past 8 years.
MRP recording artists have received awards and nominations in several City Weekly’s Best Of Utah editions including Max Pain and the Groovies, Best Band; Dark Seas, Best Band; Tony Holiday and the Velvetones, Best Blues Album; and J.J. Jennings, Best Country Album.
Kent the SLC Mayor’s Artist Award for contributions to the field of visual art in 2000.