Utah's dedication to the arts is winning praise from some high places, with a congratulatory letter from President Bush.

In a letter to Gov. Norm Bangerter, Bush said: "Barbara and I applaud the Utah Arts Council and the people of Utah for 90 years of excellence in the arts."The letter is in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Utah Arts Council.

"Today, the Utah Arts Council is a leader among Western states in per capita arts funding and in arts program support," the president said. "The working partnership of the state arts agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, local agencies and the private sector has created an atmosphere in which the arts flourish. As a result, Utah enjoys a wonderful variety of artistic expression that enriches the lives of both young and old."

The Utah Arts Institute - forerunner of the Utah Arts Council - was established March 9, 1899.