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what happened to our front porch

October 20, 2015

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blog - suzanne walker - front porch title

Patrick Overton, in his book Re-Building the Front Porch of America: Essays on the Art of Community Making states:

“We used to gather together on the front porch – families, friends, and neighbors. Not for any special reason, just to be together, to converse with each other. That was enough. This is where we shared news about our lives, talked about the events going on around us, and caught up with each other as family, friends, neighbors, and community. This was how we shared life and how we made meaning. This was also how we made community. It was intentional. It was spontaneous. It was fun.”

“We are losing our front porch. We are losing our gathering place. It is being replaced with decks in the back yard and contemporary architecture dominated by the garage showcasing the treasured symbol of our mobility and freedom – the automobile. We move fast and we move in a lot of different directions. We learn a lot and we learn it quickly – but we don’t always know what to do with what it is we learn.”

Bringing the Front Porch Back

Midvale City is making a conscious effort to bring front porches back to our community. The arts have a powerful ability to act as front porches. They provide opportunities to gather together and tell our stories, share news, have fun and to be unified. The arts opportunities we provide give a voice to our community.

This summer on our front porch, our community will have the chance to visit with old friends, make new friends, and experience a sense of community pride. Midvale City wants to invite the surrounding community to visit with us on our front porch this summer. Our front porch, located in the Midvale City Park – 455 West 7500 South, will be open every Friday night (and some additional dates) at 7:30 pm for visits. All of our concerts are free and feature many different styles of music and dance.

Gather at Midvale's Front Porch

  • June 12 – Body Logic Dance Company (Enjoy Midvale’s professional dance company.)
  • June 19 – Mama’s Wranglers (Be prepared to tap your toes, clap your hands and sing-a-long with this family band based in Las Vegas.)
  • June 26 – Assembly 6.0(A cover band that plays many of your favorite songs from classic rock to pop across many different eras.)
  • July 3 – 23rd Army Band(Utah’s premier military music unity. This will be a great concert to celebrate the birth of our country!)
  • July 10 – 18 – “Once Upon a Mattress” (A twist on the classic tale of the Princess and the Pea. Nightly except Sunday. Tickets are $7 – general admission, $5 – children & seniors, $25 – family pass. Midvale residents receive a $1 discount/ticket.)
  • July 24 – Rumba Libre (An all-star band the delivers the best Salsa and Latin Jazz in Salt Lake City.)
  • July 31 – Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band (One of the best professional bands in the world that is comprised entirely of young musicians.)

This is our Front Porch:

blog - suzanne walker - front porch (resized)

-Suzanne Walker, Midvale Arts Council

Suzanne Walker was recently hired as the Executive Director of the Midvale Arts Council where she has been a volunteer for nearly 20 years. She has produced over 40 theatrical productions for the council and has also been privileged to be on stage and behind the scenes directing, choreographing, or costuming many of those productions. She enjoys watching her children play basketball, soccer and football. She also enjoys singing, playing the piano, sewing and cooking. 


dreaming of summer nights

October 20, 2015

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06.03.15 blog post

What a great time it is to emerge from our winter cocoon and see what’s going on with all our Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) organizations! Performing arts organizations are unveiling their spring programming. Summer concerts are being announced. New exhibits are coming. Indoor and out – we’re all stirring ourselves. As Salt Lake County residents, we’re fortunate to have so many options, and we can take pride that part of our tax contributions go to supporting these same organizations that entertain and teach us.

With all this available, I’m connecting with friends to schedule events over the next few months. Now Playing Utah is a great place to start. It’s a central location to read about upcoming shows and exhibits with links to purchase tickets. I can also browse events that I didn’t even consider but am reading about nevertheless because the information is all right there. Public radio, local newspapers, and posters at my favorite Salt Lake County haunts remind me to scan the lineups of the concert bands coming to town.  Online, I’m also quickly scanning for discounted days and extended summer hours for the zoo, aviary, and the museums so I can share. The quicker it is to look up the information on dates, times, and prices, the easier. And if I can share the info quickly with friends via Facebook or IM on my mobile phone – even better!

I love the summer music scene in Salt Lake County – whether it’s the Red Butte Series, the Twilight Concert series, or Sandy Amphitheater. Last year, Lauryn Hill kicked off the Twilight Concert series, and there were thousands of people milling around, grooving to pre-headliners well before sunset. Owing to the support of the Salt Lake County ZAP program, the accessible price points of $5 per concert and $35 for the entire concert series allow a broad cross-section of us Salt Lake County residents to attend. It’s a great chance to see friends I haven’t seen since last summer, and the buzz of recognition is what makes Salt Lake awesome – large enough to attract great artistic talent and small enough to bump into people you recognize. Some people come early to pick their ideal picnic spot and be close enough to the stage without finding themselves in the middle of the dancing.  Some flitter from booth to booth to check out the local artwork and vendors. My friends and I choose a spot a few rows just in front of stage left – a little cozy I admit – but perfect to see the musicians up close. No one minds the bumping as people move in and out of the crowd. The thin drizzle of rain that began as Ms. Hill took the stage, and continued through her entire set, didn’t keep us from dancing. A couple of hours later, there were enough of us still there at the end to ensure a well-echoed encore plea to Ms. Hill.

If Lauryn Hill isn’t your vibe, there’s a good chance one or more of the acts coming to Red Butte, Twilight, or Sandy this year will be. I love the broad programming that goes into each of these venues, whether jazz, big band, pop, rock or country.  On a lovely summer evening I can be moving my feet or thrumming my fingers to the beat. I’m already looking forward to this year’s musicians.

 So what are you and your friends planning for in the next few months?

- Grace Lin, ZAP Tier I Advisory Board Member

local arts agencies get a boost in salt lake county

October 20, 2015

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The Salt Lake County Council approved funding for the first four arts councils funded through the ZAP Local Arts Agency Advancement Initiative.  The Tier II Advisory Board reviewed 4 applications in February and noted they all deserved funding.  This initiative supports the County’s goals to ...
  1. Enhance Salt Lake County qualify of Life
  2. Facilitate collaborative partnerships
  3. Deliver excellent customer service

Local Arts Agencies hold a special function within the disciplines that the ZAP program funds.  They understand and serve their community through the arts.  They are quite active in their communities, with a clear focus on public programming.  They use the arts (all disciplines) to enhance the quality of life for all who live in as well as visit their community.  Cottonwood Heights Arts Council, Holladay Arts Council, Midvale Arts Council and the South Salt Lake Arts Council will each receive up to $10,000 a year for three years to hire part-time staff. 

Most local arts agencies are all volunteer organizations.  Because public programs and events are labor-intensive, these volunteer-based arts councils are very busy.  The arts councils with staffing resources can provide more and enhanced services to their communities.  While revenues are increasing after a long recession, the ZAP program wants all local arts agencies to have the opportunity to grow and better serve their constituents.  It is very difficult to move from an all-volunteer organization to one with paid staff.  This initiative assists with this transition, providing training for the professional staff members as well as matching start-up funds.  The growth in ZAP revenues will be used to fund LAAA while continuing the Tier II funding process.

a sense of place celebrating a successful partnership

October 20, 2015

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Wednesday, March 26th the Holladay Arts Council presented Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) at Olympus High School of the Performing Arts.  This collaboration allowed RDT to mentor students at Olympus High School (OHS) in dance and stage management.   Danell Hathaway, director of dance at OHS, indicated her students rehearsed at 6:00 a.m. to prepare for their role in “Dancing the Green Map”.  Students also learned from RDT’s technical staff how to prepare for and run a professional dance concert.  After the performance, I watched them take the dance floor off and was impressed with their swift and focused work.  

Kudos to Holladay Arts for spearheading this collaborative effort between the Granite School District, Holladay City and RDT for the "Sense of Place" dance concert.  The performance was wonderful.  I enjoyed seeing Olympus High School dance students performing with RDT.  Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle provided a warm welcome and acknowledged Audrey Kenyon for all her efforts to pull off such an accomplishment!   The entire evening created a “sense of place”.  Everyone involved deserves credit for a job well done.

Holladay Arts Council and Repertory Dance Theatre are grant recipients of Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks.  This collaboration demonstrates the community values of ZAP!

​-Vicki Bourns, ZAP Program Director

brown bag series make over

October 20, 2015

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Familiar with the saying “Two heads are better than one?”  We are.  

ZAP is thrilled to be giving our Brown Bag Series a make-over and partnering with Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA) in 2014.  

Why the change?  Simply put: 
1. Many of our participants overlap 
2. We are looking for ways to maximize resources, while minimizing duplication of effort and 
3. We hope to create even more “off the hook” opportunities for networking!

giving thanks by giving back free events

October 20, 2015

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Organizations receiving funding support from Salt Lake County residents through the Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) program give “thanks” by giving back to the community and offering FREE admission on select days of the year.

Here’s to FREE days at Red Butte Garden, Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake Acting Company, Utah Museum of Fine Art, and Utah's Hogle Zoo in 2014. 

Red Butte Garden: July 24th | Sept 1st | Oct 6th | Dec 7th & 8th

Natural History Museum of Utah: Jan 13th | Apr 14th | Jul 14th | Oct 13th

Advanced reservations highly recommended.  Tickets free, but required.

Salt Lake Acting Company
“Grant & Twain” Feb 4th | “4000 Miles” Apr 8th
Call ahead to reserve your free seats

Utah Museum of Fine Art: 1st Wednesday of each month & third Saturday of each month. 

Wild Wednesday"/Free Days at Utah's Hogle Zoo
Jan 29th | Feb 26th | Nov 26th* | Dec. 31st*
*Free admission on Nov. 26th & Dec. 31st, excludes admission to "Zoo Lights"

Raising Awareness Zap And Social Media

October 20, 2015

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Ever wonder why a government agency would travel into the realm of “likes,” “tweets,” and “subscriptions?”  These days in order to “keep up with the Joneses” you need to be active on social media.  For Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) program, times are no different.

As a pass-through granting agency for millions of dollars (collected via sales tax revenue) to support arts, culture, and recreation in Salt Lake County, we see social media as an avenue to connect and educate the public about the various benefits they receive as a result of their commitment. 

For example, did you know as a resident of Salt Lake County YOUR support provides funds to over 160 arts and cultural organizations as well as 30+ park and recreational facilities throughout Salt Lake County?  OR Annually, an estimated 3.8 million people receive FREE admission to an arts or cultural event funded through the ZAP program?  Go ahead, pat YOUrself on the back!  Then “like” us on Facebook, “subscribe” to our YouTube channel, and exchange a “tweet” or two with us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on happenings in your neighborhood.