Zoo, Arts & Parks Blog
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Almost at the Finish Line as the End of Season 54th Approaches
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Elements-Elementos Family Series
By Juan Carlos Claudio/Outreach Director and Ai Fujii Nelson/Education Director
The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company would like to thank the Salt Lake County residents, patrons, and ZAP voters once again. It is because of your support that the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is almost to the finish line as we approach the end of our 54th Season. As one of the pioneering forces in the arts in the State of Utah, we take pride in the work we do and the opportunities we offer to the beautiful tapestry of our diverse residents of Salt Lake City. As part of your tax support, we were able to provide free dance performances for children, seniors, and families who can not otherwise afford it. We could also bring dance education in the Salt Lake schools (7 of them were Title-1 schools) and serve over 3,700 students and 200 teachers. Your support also helped us provide public school teacher training and professional development opportunities, assisting the educators to improve the quality of their teaching and integrate arts effectively into their curriculum.
North Star Elementary "Kids in Motion" Residency Programs
“Previously, Dylan went to kindergarten through third grade at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. Dylan has been in a mainstream classroom in a public school for just over one year. During this dance experience, Dylan was able to work and communicate with a partner, a team, and the entire class through movement… I think his ability to be physically lifted up by his peers was a great symbol…even for his classmates to remember that one way we support Dylan like we did in the dance, is to make sure we show him we care about his ideas”
Ashlee Ekins, M.Ed., 4th Grade Educator, North Star Elementary (Title-1)
"Your assembly is the best we’ve ever had. Often assemblies do not include performers who are representative of our student body, and they are difficult for our students to comprehend (meaning the performance do not scaffold enough). We loved your assembly. It is the perfect length, highly engaging, it involves students emotionally and physically and it is bilingual. It is the first bilingual assembly we have ever had. And the performers are diverse and representative.”;
Nicole O’Brien, Principal, Rose Park Elementary and Community School (Title-1)
4th Graders at North Star Elementary in "Kids in Motion " Residency Program
We are still moving strongly towards the finish line, as dancers Yebel Gallegos, Mary Lyn Graves, Megan McCarthy, Dan Mont-Eton, Bashaun Williams and Melissa Younker dance for all they’re worth. We wrap up our 54th Season with a cultural diplomacy tour to Mongolia and South Korea as part of DanceMotion USA℠ program, accompanied by Executive Director/Tour Manager/Jena C. Woodbury, Artistic Director/Daniel Charon, and Technical Director/William Peterson. DanceMotion USA℠ is a people-to-people international exchange initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).
As the proud representative of the State Department, State of Utah, and Salt Lake City, the Company is spreading its knowledge, passion, and love for dance and education. During this month-long tour, the dancers have been able to teach children, young and older adults, and persons with alternate abilities about the values of dance as well as presenting lectures/roundtable discussions and formal performances. Our message is that dance is a universal language; “Dance is for Everybody”. We believe that they will return with the richness of their cultural experience and their hearts full of wonderful memories, and they will be ready to share their renewed energy and passion for the art of dance with the students and the audience of Salt Lake City in the upcoming season. Here’s to a great finish line and much more to come in the new 55th Season.
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in South Korea
Thank you for your support!
Discovery Gateway hosts World Connections Children's Festival on June 30
On Saturday, June 30th, Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum will be hosting the World Connections Children’s Festival, a FREE community event, from 10 am - 7 pm. From Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, to Europe and across the ocean to Mexico, all the way back to Utah, Discovery Gateway invites guests to join them for a full day of welcoming summer and celebrating the diverse cultures that make up the state of Utah. The day will be packed full of live musical performances, traditional dances, hands-on activities, and unique experiences from many cultures around the globe.
"World Connections Children's Festival represents the core of Discovery Gateway's mission by helping children of all ages and abilities to connect to not only their own culture but the many other cultures in their world," said Tammy Spicer, Discovery Gateway's Director of Museum Education and Operations. "These connections lead to understanding and acceptance, and it is our hope that through these connections, we can make a difference in the world today."
Performances will be held throughout the day and include Ballet Folklorico Boliviano, Kenshin Taiko Drummers, Katherine St. John Central Asian & Middle Eastern dance, Casa Quetzalcoatl dance & music, An Dragan Ceilteach Irish Dances, the Juan Diego CHS Steel Band, Si Lum Gung Fu Club Lion Dance, and Nino Reyos a Native American Storyteller and Dancer. Children will have the opportunity to meet and visit with Miss Africa Utah 2018, Christelle Bahati. In addition, The Utah Chinese Association will provide hands-on activities. Families can cool down from the summer heat by purchasing shaved ice from the Kona Ice mini truck on Discovery Gateway's outdoor patio.
Casa Quetzalcoatl Dance
Spicer commented, "Many of the performers are children, and children really are living traditions. Discovery Gateway strives to highlight that all traditions and cultures are important and have a place in the world. Every performance is wonderful, unique, and represents the diversity in our community. What a better place to celebrate cultures through dance, music, activities, and play than at Discovery Gateway Children's Museum in downtown Salt Lake City!"
Don’t miss out on this free, fun, and educational event for the whole family on Saturday, June 30th! Free admission to the World Connections Children's Festival is generously sponsored by Harmons Neighborhood Grocer, Ernst & Young, and Dominion Energy with additional support by Board Chair Tina Bagley, VLCM, Salt Lake City, First Digital, L3 Technologies, Zions Bank, Top Golf, Springfree Trampoline, My529, and Kona Ice.
Anna Branson is the Marketing Assistant at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum. She is a recent graduate from the University of Utah in Communications and interned at Discovery Gateway in the Spring. When she’s not practicing her marketing skills, Anna loves to travel, camp, or simply relax at home.
Discovery Gateway Gears Up for New Exhibits Reveal
After years of
long meetings, sleepless nights, and lots of hard work, Discovery Gateway is
gearing up to reveal two brand new world-class exhibits! On June 23rd,
experience racing rivers, water vortexes, and tipping buckets in a brand new
re-vamped Water Play exhibit and, by the end of this summer, Discovery
Gateway visitors will be able to climb, hop, slide, and buzz around in the Honey
Climber exhibit. In 2015, Discovery Gateway's executive director, Laurie
Hopkins, announced to the team big plans for the next three years. And just
like that, the Discovery Gateway staff were off to work in their busy beehive.
ago, the staff and board agreed to revitalize the museum by adding new
exhibits, weekly programming, and updating existing exhibits. At Discovery
Gateway, we were determined to be a part of the solution in improving the West
side of the city by working together with our talented staff and the county,
city, and state governments,”
has certainly had a lively three years. Since 2015, the children’s museum has
invested $1.5 million in exhibit upgrades, and has opened seven new permanent
exhibits, including Block Party, DG Derby: Powered by Gravity,
SkyCycle, Live Hive, and the Intermountain Rescue Hangar in Saving
Lives. The Discovery Gateway team wanted to end their three-year plan with
a bang. "Discovery Gateway has made huge strides over the past three
years, and I couldn't be more proud or excited about all the progress we've
made in such a short period of time. The Honey Climber and Water Play exhibits
are the height of our three-year strategic plan for museum revitalization, and
they bring us one step closer to being a world-class children's museum,"
opening of Water Play on Saturday, June 23. The event will kick off at 9
am for a VIP and Members-Only preview of the new exhibits and at 10 am the
public is welcome to join the party! There will be prizes, giveaways, and
educational activities to celebrate this highly anticipated event. Honey
Climber will open later this summer.
Over at Water
Play, children are encouraged to imagine, discover, and connect by working
together as engineers and builders by designing a waterway or dam. "Water
Play has been a beloved centerpiece in Kids Eye View since the opening of The
Gateway location. The exhibit was simply too loved, and was time to replace
it,” Hopkins said about Water Play. With the use of water wheels and
vortexes, buckets, scoops, and running water children will develop essential
science skills like observing, comparing, and predicting. By working together
to solve problems, children will boost their communication skills as they play
cooperatively, negotiate space, and share Water Play equipment.
will keep the whole family engaged and active as kids climb through a maze of
honeycombs, walk across rope bridges, and slide down to explore The Garden.
Children are invited to use their imaginations and discover new paths as they
transform into a busy bee. "Having a new climber is important to us,
not only because children love to climb and get above it all, but also because
a climber is a gold-standard exhibit for children’s museums. The addition of
the Honey Climber gives children opportunities to explore and gain confidence
while developing decision-making and gross motor skills," expressed
Hopkins. The Honey Climber is the finishing touch in the museums
existing exhibit, The Garden, which demonstrates the importance of bees and
their connection to Utah.
When asked about
plans for Discovery Gateways future, Hopkins commented, "Water Play and
Honey Climber are the culmination of our revitalization project. Our goal over
the next year is to focus on maintaining and updating existing exhibits to keep
the museum fresh and exciting so that every time a family visits they will
receive the best experience possible. In addition, Discovery Gateway will
continue to improve upon and add to on-site programs that amplify the learning
that’s going on in the exhibits for families that want a deeper level of
Be sure to mark
your calendars for June 23rd and join Discovery Gateway for a day of
celebration, play, prizes, curiosity, and discovery at
the Water Play exhibit grand opening! Follow
Discovery Gateway on their social media channels to keep up with the buzz about
the launch of Honey Climber.
Anna Branson is the
Marketing Assistant at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum. She is a recent
graduate from the University of Utah in Communications and interned at
Discovery Gateway in the Spring. When she’s not practicing her marketing
skills, Anna loves to travel, camp, or simply relax at home.
Springtime Fun with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation
by Michelle Ludema
On your marks, get set, go! Grab your baskets and get ready for some springtime fun. Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation is kicking off the season with a handful of community egg hunts across the valley.
All egg hunts are free unless otherwise noted. Arrive early, as each hunt begins at the listed time.
Friday, March 23
- Fairmont Aquatic Center, 5:00 PM | Ages 3-12
Fairmont Park, 1044 East Sugarmont Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
- Teen Flashlight Egg Hunt, 8:00 PM | Ages 13-18
Copperview Recreation Center, 8446 South Harrison Street (300 West), Midvale, UT 84047
Saturday, March 24
Saturday, March 31 – 9:00 AM Sharp!
- Northwest Recreation Center | Ages 2-12
Soccer Field, 1255 Clark Avenue (300 North), Salt Lake City, UT 84116
- Kearns Recreation Center | Ages 2-10
Oquirrh Park Soccer Field, 5670 South Cougar Lane, Kearns, UT 84118
- Redwood Recreation Center | 12 and under
West Soccer Field, 3060 South Lester St, West Valley City, UT 84119
- Taylorsville Recreation Center | 12 and under
Valley Regional Park Softball Complex, 5100 South 2700 West, Taylorsville, UT 84118
- Sorenson Multicultural Center | 12 and under
Soccer field, 855 West California Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Egg dives are a fun twist from the regular egg hunt. Splash around the pool as you fill up your basket! Registration is required, so sign up quick!
Friday, March 23
Saturday, March 30
- Northwest Recreation Center, 6:00 -7:00 PM | Ages 12 and under
1255 Clark Avenue (300 North), Salt Lake City, UT 84116
$3 per participant
Includes additional activities for all ages
Saturday, March 31
April Fools Run
Too cool for baskets or up for chasing a finish line instead? Central City Recreation will be hosting the annual April Fools 5k and Fun Run at Sugar House Park! Both runs are open to all ages, and include prizes and fun that the whole family can participate in. Pre-registration by March 23 is encouraged, so
sign up today.
30 percent of Zoo, Arts and Parks funds go toward supporting parks and recreation opportunities throughout Salt Lake County. To learn more about what’s happening with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, visit
recreation.slco.org. For adaptive and inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities, contact Ashley with Adaptive Recreation at 385-468-1520 or
Michelle Ludema is the Public Relations Coordinator for Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. She loves a good egg hunt and believes that arts, parks and recreational opportunities inspire healthy, innovative communities.
2018 ZAP Kids Summer Passport Cover Design Contest
In 2017, Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks, in partnership with the Salt Lake County Libraries and the Clark Planetarium, hosted the first ZAP Kids Summer Passport. The Passport opens up a world of possibilities, allowing youth and their families to explore several free or discounted activities offered by the County and ZAP-funded organizations.
This year we have increased our partnerships to include the Salt Lake City Public Libraries and Murray City Library. We have also expanded our participating organizations' activity list, which will be available to view early May in preparation for our Passport kick-off June 1 at the Salt Lake County Library.
ZAP also hosts a Cover Design Contest where Salt Lake County youth under the age of 17 are encouraged to design their own cover of what the zoo, arts and parks mean to them. For our 2018 contest, we asked them to show us how they rock, in correspondence with the libraries Summer Reading Program theme of "Libraries Rock!" The winner of this year's Cover Design Contest will have their design and name printed on our 2018 ZAP Kids Summer Passport.
We had so many great entries this year! ZAP staff has narrowed all the designs down to our top four (4) choices, and are now asking for your help to choose the winner. The names and ages will be kept hidden at this time to keep judging anonymous and fair.
Here are the top entries, in alphabetical order:
A Day at the Zoo
Welcome to Animal Wonders
ZAP Makes Fun Summers Happen
Visit our Jotform poll to place your vote! Share the poll and encourage your friends and family to vote for your favorite cover design, too. Votes will be limited to one per person. Voting will remain open until Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 11:59 PM. The winner will be announced on Facebook Monday morning, March 26.