Zoo, Arts & Parks Blog
ZAP Ticket Tuesday with Tanner Dance
A winner has been chosen to win 2 tickets to the Children's Dance Theatre performance of GWINNA, Friday April 8, presented by Tanner Dance. If you didn't win this time, we hope you can still make the performance. Tickets are available for purchase here.
Stay tuned for our next Ticket Tuesday Giveaway!
ZAP Ticket Tuesday globalFEST Giveaway
A winner has been chosen to receive 4 tickets to
UtahPresents' GLOBALFEST (March 31). If you didn't win this time, we hope you can still make it to the performance. Visit the event site
here to purchase tickets. And keep entering our #ZAPTicketTuesday giveaways!
UtahPresents is funded in part by a grant from Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks.
The U of U as The It of It: The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center Hosts Pulitzer Prize-Winning Dramatist Suzan-Lori Parks
Tanner Humanities in a Nutshell
For over twenty-seven years, the
Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah has promoted humanistic inquiry and exchange by supporting innovative scholarly projects and creating opportunities for interaction among scholars, students, and lifelong learners. In particular, we
offer research support, public lectures and programs, and faculty outreach (see
www.thc.utah.edu). Our activities reflect a vision of the humanities as not only relevant, timely, stimulating, and cutting-edge, but also essential for developing critical thinking, tolerance, and respect on campus and in our community.
The Tanner Humanities Center is a first-time ZAP recipient and is honored to be counted among the many fine ZAP-funded arts and cultural organizations that enhance Salt Lake County resident and visitor experiences. To that end, the Tanner Humanities Center was
able to use ZAP funds to support a recent free and public event with Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist Suzan-Lori Parks.
A Visit from Suzan-Lori Parks
On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Parks delivered the 2016 David P. Gardner Lecture in the Humanities and Fine Arts at the
University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall. “The Suzan-Lori Parks Show” was part lecture, part performance, and part “consciousness raising of the collective unconscious.” Parks took the stage for 50 minutes, followed by a Q&A and a book signing co-hosted by
The King’s English Book Shop. Approximately 500 community and campus members attended the event, including students from
West High School, playwrights from
Salt Lake Acting Company’s Playwrights’ Lab, and undergraduate students from the
University of Utah’s MUSE Project, Humanities House, and Department of Theatre.
Suggestions from Parks
Parks was introduced by Raymond Tymas-Jones, Associate Vice President for the Arts and Dean of the College of Fine Arts, who detailed Parks’ extensive awards and accolades. Parks paused briefly before performing to reflect on the semantic impact of the “U of U.” Similar to being the “It of It,” she
pondered. And this phrase encapsulated her overall message, which she delivered in stories, gestures, song, and what she called “suggestions,” such as “listen to your own voice,” explore your “far out ideas,” “make your own luck,” “practice radical inclusion,” “keep the drama on the stage” and “grow your own
grit.” She also spoke about her relationship to her mentor James Baldwin and the importance of trying to commit to her craft every day. When asked about the impact of success, she stressed “holding onto the hands of the people who have come before you,” thinking about “the path you are making for others to
follow,” and recognizing that you have been “summoned to spread love, kindness, compassion, and enthusiasm.”
A Workshop with Parks
On the morning of February 25, Parks attended breakfast with University of Utah Department of Theatre faculty and later conducted a workshop for 30 undergraduate students on location at the Tanner Humanities Center. She answered questions about her plays, her creative processes and practices, and the congruency between her
written work and her public performances. She also offered advice for saying “yes” to difficulty, risk, and challenge and showing up regularly for one’s creative practices. She closed by inviting participants to join “Watch Me Work,” conversations about creativity and an actual work session that she hosts on the mezzanine of
The Public Theater in New York City and via webcast and twitter.
Suzan-Lori Parks is a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and musician. In 2002, she was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Topdog/Underdog. She has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller
Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, among others. She has also received a MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant,” was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize-finalist and Tony Award nominee for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, 3), and
recently was awarded the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.
Sponsors/partners for this event included:
University of Utah
Susan Anderson, Development Officer for the
Tanner Humanities Center, earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Education
and her master’s degree in English from Marquette University and received
graduate training in English with an emphasis in American Studies and poetry at
the University of Utah. She has taught courses in writing and literature and
worked as an editor, writer, and grant writer. She also has taught poetry to
elementary students in Salt Lake City and currently conducts a book group for
Art Access, a local nonprofit arts organization that targets underserved
populations. Anderson began working at the Tanner Humanities Center in 2015.
With Doors Closed UMFA Still Delivers
As we prepared to temporarily close the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) this year, to
upgrade our vapor barrier and reinstall our galleries, we heard one question over and over: But what will the staff do?
The answer: Find ways to fulfill our mission even with the doors closed. Handed a challenge and a gift -- one year to reimagine the UMFA -- our staff of hard-working, passionate arts professionals hasn't wasted a minute.
First we threw a two-day going-away party in January that filled both floors of the Marcia and John Price Museum Building with thousands of people.
Then we rolled up our sleeves and began chipping away at our ambitious to-do lists. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we're keeping the fires hot under three of our biggest goals:
Protecting the art.
That's what this project is all about. Improving the vapor barrier will help us maintain the optimal humidity level for fine art. It will also ensure a long lifespan for the architecturally significant building that protects the nearly 20,000 objects in our collection.
Most of the art will be stored onsite. Last fall collections staff members began removing and packing the 200 or so objects on view—painstaking work, some of it tricky. Remember Moab I, the massive relief sculpture in our lobby? Its thirty-six
stoneware tiles were carefully removed, individually photographed, assessed, recorded in our database, and then packed into specially made foam-lined wooden crates.
The process is much the same for every object -- which means all hands on deck.
Keeping the community engaged.
We’re still delivering great art experiences to our adult and family audiences. The UMFA’s ingenious and award-winning educators have figured out ways to make many programs portable. Our perennial favorite (and ZAP-funded!)
Third Saturday for Families free art-making program is continuing every month, just a few doors down at the U’s Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex. Our
pARTnersprogram, which has brought every fourth-grader in Salt Lake City public schools into the UMFA twice each year for more than thirty years, is now being delivered directly to student classrooms. The Traveling Museum Project, Museum in the Classroom, and other
outreach programs continue to bring hands-on art experiences to communities in every corner of the state. Our Spiral Jetty Family Backpacks can now be checked out (free!) at the Salt Lake City Public Library.
We’ve also kicked off two new programs.
- ARTLandish: Land Art, Landscape, and the
Environment is an exciting monthly
series of talks, films, meet-ups, and more that explore our complex
relationship with the world around us.
- ACME Sessions,
a partnership with The City Library, are bimonthly public roundtable
discussions meant to inspire new models of education and community engagement
through art. (We’re cooking up other exciting projects with The City Library.
More on that soon!) We expect these conversations to generate ideas for an
exciting new experimental space we’ll launch when the UMFA reopens, the ACME
Preparing brand new experiences for visitors in 2017.
The upside of watching the galleries empty is anticipating
what they’ll look and feel like next year. Curators are busy planning our new
European, American, regional, Asian, African, and modern and contemporary
galleries, rediscovering treasures in our vast collection and rethinking how we
present them. We’re remodeling other spaces, too, all with an eye toward making
the Museum more accessible and welcoming to everyone. Not least among the many
decisions to make: what colors to paint the walls. Goodbye, guava!
That’s where we are, barely two months into this metamorphic
year. Keep up, and enjoy more behind-the-scenes photos and stories, by signing
up for our e-newsletter or following us on Facebook,
Twitter, or Instagram.
Mindy Wilson is the PR
& marketing director at the UMFA. She joined the Museum staff in January
2013 after relocating to Salt Lake City from Georgia, where she was managing
editor of the award-winning literary journal The Georgia Review. A
freelance editor and writer, she loves exploring her new home city, state, and
region with her husband, writer Michael Mejia, and Atticus, their Jack Russell
ZAP Ticket Tuesday Giveaway with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
A winner was chosen to receive 2 tickets to Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company's SPRING SEASON (April 7-9). If you didn't win this time, we hope you can still make it to the performance. And keep entering our #ZAPTicketTuesday giveaways!
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is funded in part by a grant from Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks.