Zoo, Arts & Parks Blog
Taylor Mac: Art and Social Justice
January, UtahPresents showcased one of the most talked about theatre
experiences of the year - Taylor Mac’s “A 24 Decade History of Popular Music.” The
performance was part of UtahPresents’ mission to provide a diverse range of
perspectives and voices in our community and world.
Taylor Mac, Photo credit: Kevin Yatarola
Mac, who has created internationally award-winning performance events that both
provoke and embrace his audiences, used his 24-hour concert in New York to
examine American history through the lens of popular music of each decade. The
day-long concert was a critical success, evoking strong responses from
audiences and media alike. Mac was named to the Out 100 2016, calling the performance, “the greatest theatrical
feat ever.” Wesley Morris, critic-at-large for the New York Times hailed the
performance as one “one of the great experiences of my life. I’ve slept on it
and I’m sure.”
Equal parts community organizer, Elizabethan fool, and bedazzled bon vivant,
judy (Mac’s preferred pronoun), brought the decades of 1956-1976 to the stage
at Kingsbury Hall. As the kickoff to MLK
week at the University of Utah, these decades covered the music of the Civil
Rights Movement through Stonewall Riots, and examined the struggle for equality
that dominated the era. Through his vulnerability and compassion, the audience was
moved by Mac’s message of how to be better, do better, work harder, and love
audience member called the experience, "a social experiment and history
lesson through art and music - an enlightenment that all things should be loved
and appreciated by all beings.”
performers are selected for their commitment to community engagement in
addition to their artistic excellence. As part of his residency in Utah, Taylor
Mac and the show’s director, Niegel Smith, participated in a discussion with
University of Utah diversity scholars about using art for social justice, while dissecting the experiences the
students had at the performance. Mac's costume designer,
Machine Dazzle, conducted a costuming
master class for theatre students, exploring his work with Taylor
and the 24-hour concert. The leader of Mac’s performing assistants (the dandy
minions), Timothy White Eagle, also guest lectured for the Department of
Theatre, teaching a class on ritual
performance. Mac and Smith, along with choreographer Bill. T.
Jones, joined KUER’s Doug Fabrizio for the David P. Gardner Lecture, discussing how they
use their art forms for activism,
which was rebroadcast on Radio West.
The dandy minions with Taylor Mac
Performances like Taylor Mac and the corresponding community engagement events
are how UtahPresents brings Salt Lake County residents together to exchange
ideas about important issues and strengthen understanding about the diversity
right here in our community. For more information about our upcoming
performances and community engagement events, visit UtahPresents.org.
Dennis Busch is the development specialist at UtahPresents. When he’s not at
the theatre, he enjoys traveling, entertaining, and playing with his dog.
In the Dirt with Wasatch Community Gardens
Fresh, spring greens and radishes: that's what
March brings, no matter whether it comes in like a lion or goes out like a
lamb! The ground is thawing and shoots are sprouting, so it's time to start
getting our hands dirty in earnest. All of Wasatch
Community Garden’s programs are already out in the dirt getting their 2017
The crew at the GREEN
TEAM Farm have been marching forth into farm season, with nearly 4,500
starts in soil blocks happily growing in the nursery greenhouse. Three inches of compost made last fall have been top dressed onto the front 3/4 acre, cool
crops have been sown, and now the focus is on building the rest of the beds on
the rear half of the farm. With some mighty cold days in February
hopefully behind us, we'll begin harvesting this month and hopefully declare it
The School Garden Program is in full
swing! They are getting their students outside planting their gardens,
are doing taste tests, and while the weather is still variable, they are doing
garden inspired art projects inside. If you have always wanted to be a
part of WCG's School Garden Program, your wait is over! Head over to the School Garden Program's
page on our website,
and download an application.
The Community Education program has got a slew
of amazing workshops coming up and the
Youth Program has opened up our summer
Due to popular demand, we're offering most of our summer camps as full day
experiences through partnering with other organizations so check out our
Finally, the Community Garden program working
on starting not one, but two new community gardens this spring! Both our
9-Line Garden and our garden at Whedon Farm in Draper need lots of energy and
volunteers so contact us to get involved.
We are looking forward to another delicious
gardening season with our community, and are eager to get away from the office
and out in garden!
Benjamin Luks-Morgan is the Outreach and Volunteer Director for Wasatch Community Gardens.
A Successful Ticket Tuesday with Empress Theatre
2 winners have been chosen to win tickets to HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (March 10 - March 25)
at The Empress Theatre.
The Empress Theatre is funded in part by Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks.
Cat in the Hat knows a lot about ZAP
Springtime is filled with
fun and literacy at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum! We’re kicking off the
season with a full day of reading, play, and Dr. Seuss!
Discovery Gateway will
turn into Seussville on March 2, complete
with Seuss-tastic classes, a Hop on Pop Jump-a-Thon, a Dr. Seuss
& Friends photo booth, and more! Plus, there will be special
surprise visits from the one- and- only Cat in the Hat!
Also on March 2, Discovery
Gateway Children’s Museum will open the new Reading Nook to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The Reading Nook features several iconic pieces from the museum’s original location on Beck Street, including the jumbo light switch and giant chair with a pencil ladder from the Sizewise gallery. These treasured pieces from our
collection have been re-imagined to create the perfect reading space. The
pencil ladder is now home to the Take
a Book, Leave a Book
program, a partnership with
Salt Lake City Public Library and KUED PBS Kids. We encourage families to bring in a book for
another family to enjoy in exchange for a new book to take home. Through this
program, it is our mission to put a book in the hands of every child and
cultivate a lifelong love of reading.
The best part? It’s
absolutely free! Guests can
enjoy a free day in the museum thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program. Don’t miss this
fun day of play and literacy!
The Reading Nook
also features information about Salt Lake County’s participation in the
national Talking is Teaching initiative dedicated to
closing the word gap and supporting families of young children to learn
together in any language through talking, singing, reading, writing and playing
every day! Discovery Gateway is a proud
contributing partner of this initiative, and we
hope to see families
engaged in these activities throughout the museum and incorporate these
principles at home as well!
Kristin Jahne is the Marketing Coordinator at Discovery
Gateway Children's Museum. When she’s not fixing member issues or analyzing
data, you can find her interacting with patrons around the museum or
helping plan events for DG members. Laura Cotter, Operations
Manager, is our resident wordsmith and crafted the title phrase.
A Ticket Tuesday to Treasure Island
One winner has been chosen to receive four free tickets to Treasure Island at Utah Children's Theatre. Utah Children's Theatre is partially funded through a grant from Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks.