Zoo, Arts & Parks Blog
Ticket Tuesday Giveaway to Craft Lake City DIY Festival
4 winners have been chosen for our #ZAPTicketTuesday giveaway to the 2016 Craft Lake City DIY Festival. Stay tuned for our next giveaway, and check out the festival at the Gallivan Center August 12-14!
Wednesdays mean more drama for Utah students – why teachers say it’s a good thing
hard to appreciate the beauty of a symphony by glancing at the score. Similarly,
plays were not meant to be experienced on paper, but in fully-realized productions.
Since 1985, Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) has been inviting middle and high school students to experience
“required reading” brought to life on stage by professional theatre artists at Wednesday
An Affordable Intro to Great Theatre
Each season, PTC’s student matinees bring great cultural
experiences to thousands of young people in our community at little or no cost.
A Salt Lake County student who attends every available matinee during his or
her high school career can see 28 Broadway-quality productions for only $2 a
show. Title I schools attend for free. After each performance, the students
participate in talk-backs with some of the same actors seen in current Broadway
smash hits like Hamilton and School of Rock.
Clin Eaton, a theatre teacher at Riverton High School, has been
bringing students to PTC’s Wednesday student matinees since the school opened
in 1999. He calls the matinee program “an institution.”
“The matinee program broadens students’ horizons,”
says Eaton, “They’re able to see classics – like Music Man and Fiddler on the
Roof – which they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise.”
A New Environment - a New Perspective
The funds PTC receives from ZAP are used to underwrite
transportation to and from the theatre for all Salt Lake County schools. Bringing
students to the controlled environment of the theatre provides them with the
opportunity to see a production complete with professional costumes, lighting,
and orchestration; and gives them an opportunity to explore not just the
material but elements like design and direction.
Rett Neale, a drama and English teacher from West High
School explains why support for busing is so important.
“Let me put it this way: it’s like when a visiting teacher
comes in – an artist in the classroom or something – and the visiting person
says exactly what the teacher has said a hundred times before. But suddenly the
students are like, ‘That makes so much sense!’ [Coming to the theatre is
important because] changing location changes perspective, and I would say opens
Neale says that connecting with peers in the audience and
seeing diverse faces on stage has a positive impact on students’ perception of the
value of theatre.
“Seeing a show in an audience filled with peers makes what
they’re seeing on stage more legitimate. They look around the theatre and see
people their own age cheering and applauding at The Count of Monte Cristo and they think, ‘Oh, musicals might be
“On stage it’s less about seeing someone their
own age than someone of the same ethnic background. For example, in Two Dollar Bill seeing a strong
African-American character really spoke to the students. Whether or not they
agreed with that character’s position, they talked about how they admired the
actor and his strong portrayal of the character.”
Forming Their Own Opinions
Middle school teacher Aimee
Rohling attended PTC’s student matinees in high school and now brings her upper
level theatre students from Summit Academy every year. She says attending a
production is “a great culmination” of what her students learn in the classroom,
including transferable skills like public speaking, teamwork, communication,
and listening. Her students enjoy the post-show talk-backs where they are
always interested in what the actors have to say.
Recalling memorable experiences at matinee
performances, Rohling remembers her students’ reactions to Deathtrap and the show’s same-sex kiss that caused a local
controversy. “My students loved Deathtrap
– they had read about it in the media before we saw it – but seeing the
show gave them a chance to form their own opinions,” Rohling says.
the end of the day, that’s exactly what we hope the program will do – help students
think critically about what they’ve seen and interpret it for themselves. By attending matinees, students learn
that theatre is a creative lens through which to examine performance, history, psychology,
and literature. Most of all, we hope the program encourages students to become
lifelong patrons of the arts – returning to find new ways to broaden their
perspectives, explore the human experience, or just enjoy an evening out.
In Their Own Words
Kaitlin Spas is the Director of Annual Giving for Pioneer
Theatre Company. Her interest in theatre was piqued by working in the college
scene shop as an undergraduate at Hollins University. She continued to help pay
her way through school as a stage hand on the world premiere of Divorce! The Musical while earning her MA
in Public Diplomacy from USC. Now she works full time connecting people who create
great theatre with those who have the resources to support it. The first show
she saw at PTC was the 1994 production of Fiddler
on Roof – which was also the opening musical of her first full year working
at the theatre. Spooky.
Twilight Concert Series Ticket Giveaway
2 winners have been chosen to win a pair of tickets good for any show during
Salt Lake City Arts Council's 2016 Twilight Concert Series (July 21 - September 1). Check back for our next giveaway!
ZAP Ticket Tuesday Giveaway to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
3 winners have been chosen to win tickets to the Community Theater production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, presented by West Valley City Arts Council.
Didn't win, but would like to attend this event? Find tickets here.
Check back again soon for more Ticket Tuesday giveaways!
Creative Placemaking in South Salt Lake
How do you define Creative Placemaking? What does it look
like, and how are Creative Placemaking strategies being used in South Salt
can be described as “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community
sectors strategically shaping the physical and social character of a
neighborhood, town, city, or regions around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and
private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local
business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to
celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”
-Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa, A White Paper for The Mayor’s Institute on
City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment
for the Arts.
Why do Creative
The South Salt Lake
Arts Council believes that Creative Placemaking can positively impact three
aspects of life in communities ranging from rural, small cities, and
People experience favorable liveability outcomes through increased
community identity, neighborhood beautification, and improved relations between
civic, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations.
All of this leads to personal and community mental health, which is
South Salt Lake’s (SSL) #1 priority.
Another reason Creative Placemaking is right for SSL is because of the
unique Places in our city. We have a diverse mix of residential and
light industrial that creates a unique, first-tier suburban community that is
just right for creative interventions.
And Prosperity is also
impacted as arts and cultural programs help localities retain local dollars,
and entice new creative business, innovative thinkers, and visitors into our
city. SSL promotes the idea to our arts
and cultural community that the City is not building our Arts District, they
are! And as a Local Arts Agency, we can
help facilitate the relationships and partnerships that will make this
In South Salt Lake
In South Salt Lake,
this means rallying everyone, including local artists, creative business
owners, residents, volunteers, City employees, our Arts Coalition, and all our
other partners, in support of the arts and how the arts can revitalize and
bring our community together. It means
bringing everyone into the conversation, thinking outside the box, and finding
new ways to attack the giant task of becoming that place that we believe South
Salt Lake will one day be -- a unique, hip and cool arts community, unlike
anything else in Utah. And through
creative placemaking efforts, we can attack the monumental task of transforming
our city with exciting, temporary, short-term, and small scale projects,
similar to my favorite concept “Urban Acupuncture”, that will help us achieve
BTW…...South Salt Lake is in the midst of big change. Our City has created a 25 year master plan to
redevelop our downtown. And a big part
of this is the creation of our Arts District and the pledge to support and
retain our local artists, creative businesses, and innovative thinkers. South Salt Lake is becoming a haven for
emerging artists and incubator industries because of lower rent and
underutilized warehouse and work spaces.
And we believe that they are a vital part of the conversations as we
We started our creative placemaking efforts
through the formation of our Arts Coalition, a group of artists, business
owners, residents, and other stakeholders with unique talents and diverse
perspectives, who all contribute to the shared vision. The Arts Coalition holds monthly meetings,
social gatherings, focus groups, and other networking opportunities to create partnerships
and get everyone stoked about what’s happening in South Salt Lake, and to
brainstorm and plan for the future. From
these events, we have identified common challenges and priorities, as well as
ways to overcome these issues and achieve our goals.
Inside South Salt Lake
Placemaking effort was our Commonwealth: Inside South Salt Lake mural
project. This project, inspired by the
Inside Out Project (insideoutproject.net), consisted of large-scale, black and
white photos featuring members of our arts community, and highlighted the ways
in which they contribute to our arts and culture sector. The photos were wheat pasted on several
buildings in our downtown Commonwealth Arts District. The project achieved our goals of generating
awareness about the many unique artists, creative businesses, and innovative
thinkers in SSL, and creating dialogue among our arts community. Additionally, our first event to kick off our
participation in Gallery Stoll and unveil the Inside South Salt Lake project
was a big success as well.
We are also in the
process of other Creative Placemaking projects and strategies. We are working to create an Arts District
Master Plan through a feasibility study that will help us determine strengths,
challenges, and strategies in developing our downtown Arts District. We have been working with our Artist in
Residence Roger Whiting in creating welcoming and interactive mosaic murals and
sculptures at our community centers. And
we are especially excited about our upcoming innovative Mailbox and Geocache
Art Project, working with reclaimed metal artists Fred Conlin and others at
SugarPost Metal in SSL in the creation of interactive mailboxes for the
creative businesses in our city. And our
successful Utility Box Art Project has become a model for other communities
around the Wasatch Front.
As the LAA for our
community, we know that fulfilling our mission to unite our community through
art, and building our Arts District will require much hard work, vision, and
perseverance. But we also recognize that
we have the resources we need within our own community to solve our
problems. Through creative placemaking
efforts, we can provide engaging arts and cultural opportunities for our
residents and visitors as we work to create a welcoming and uniquely creative
neighborhood in South Salt Lake.
Lesly Allen is the Arts Council Coordinator for South Salt Lake. She has a Masters degree in Community Leadership with an emphasis in Arts Administration from Westminster College. Lesly also serves on the Board of Directors for Utah Arts Alliance and Splore. Lesly has a passion for public art and using art as a way to unite and revitalize communities. Lesly is a native of Salt Lake City, has four beautiful daughters, and enjoys skiing, cycling, and riding her motorcycle.