University health program gives preference to 'transgender and BIPOC' artists for project

The Trangender Health Program at the University of Utah Health is looking to commission an artist to create a butterfly piece for an upcoming event.

However, the program said that “preference will be given to transgender and BIPOC people” in the community.

A university health program sought an artist to complete a piece of artwork for an upcoming event. The catch? The program is noted that it would give a preference to “transgender and BIPOC people."

The Trans Health Program (THP) at the University of Utah Health posted on its Twitter on April 8, calling for “artists in our community!” to create a set of butterfly wings for their participation in the Utah Pride Story Garden. The THP says “preference will be given to transgender and BIPOC people.”

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The Trans Health Program at University of Utah Health “brings quality healthcare to trans adults and teens from all walks of life.” According to their website, they “welcome all identities and expressions seeking our services.”

The butterfly piece will be featured in Pride Story Garden, which is “an interactive outdoor exhibit curated with national and local partners” put on by the Utah Pride Center. The event will take place from June 3 to June 7 at the Salt Lake County building. 

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The event will feature various gardens for visitors to walk through, including spaces called “Drag Queendom,” “Sanctuary Secret Garden,” “Studio 54 Dance Party,” “LGBTQIAA….. Flags/Identities” and “PRIDE Rainbow.”

Artists interested in submitting artwork to represent the Trans Health Program at the University of Utah Health were instructed to email the program by April 12. The butterfly piece must be done by May 21 in order to be included in the exhibit.

Campus Reform reached out to the Trans Health Program at the University of Utah Health to ask how much the artist would receive in creating this artwork. In response to the inquiry, the program responded that it had closed the window for new submissions for consideration. 

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The email went on to clarify the choice in giving preference to transgender artists and BIPOC community members. A spokesperson said the “choice to give preference to BIPOC transgender folks is because that is the community we serve and this is a Pride-focused event highlighting LGBTQ+ people.”

The program also asked that Campus Reform to speak to someone in the public relations department for future stories. However, after calling multiple times, Campus Reform has yet to receive a response.

Follow this author on Twitter: @opheliejacobson