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Since 1971, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts has been the cornerstone establishment of the artistic community in the Wood River Valley, but as of today The Center is no more.

That is not to say that the organization is gone—it has merely been renamed and rebranded. From today—Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020—onward, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will henceforth be known as the Sun Valley Museum of Art.

The new name comes with a vibrant new logo, abandoning the subdued orange of The Center for an eye-catching bright red. The change is largely aesthetic and nominal, however, with the SVMoA planning to preserve its former mission and, if anything, expand on it.

“Sun Valley Center for the Arts has enriched our community through transformative arts and educational experiences for nearly 50 years,” said Executive Director Christine Davis Jeffers. “At this pivotal moment, we honor our proud heritage while we look to a dynamic and bright future. Following a comprehensive brand assessment, in-depth strategic planning and thoughtful conversations with our core community, we are excited to announce a new name and redefined identity as the Sun Valley Museum of Art.”

While at face value the word “museum” may seem to reduce the organization’s focus onto the visual arts, the SVMoA said it will continue to offer all its regular programing, including education outreach, film screenings, lectures, full theatrical productions, dance and live musical performances from the likes of Jackson Browne and Ziggy Marley.

The new name is intended to reflect its official museum accreditation and to communicate its commitment to fulfilling an educational role in the community, according to a statement issued by the organization. In 2006, The Center joined the American Alliance of Museums, and wishes to lean into that.

“A museum is who we are and who we’ve been for a long time,” Artistic Director Kristin Poole said. “For 50 years we have been using the arts as a means to discovery—using multiple disciplines—with visual arts at the core. We all look to museums to learn, to be surprised, to shift our thinking. As an accredited museum, The Center has been able to provide opportunities for nationally known artists to do new work.

“We also have the privilege of serving this amazing community that is hungry for significant arts experiences. We believe the new name reinforces our work and honors the artists and the community we serve.”

Not only do staff members say the new arts museum does not intend to drop any of its current offerings, they add that doing so is not implied by the word “museum,” citing several such institutes around the globe that have diversified their offerings.

“Across the world, the definition of a ‘museum’ is changing, becoming more inclusive of all art forms and embracing the creativity and connection that are at the heart of artistic expression,” said Scott Palmer, producing artistic director of Company of Fools, the theater group owned and operated by the museum. “The change to SVMoA is simply a reflection of who we are, what we do, and what we provide to our community—the arts, in all their glory and in all their forms.”

To formally usher in this new era of artistic excellence, the SVMoA will host a free, public open house event today, Jan. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Learn more about the museum, its history, mission and diverse offerings at its new website, svmoa.org.

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