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Explore the World of Vikings at the Natural History Museum of Utah


July 21, 2017

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Planning an adventure to the Natural History Museum of Utah this summer? Get ready for a surprising and fascinating adventure!

Now through January 1, 2018, unravel fact from fiction at our newest special exhibition, Vikings: Beyond the Legend. 

Travel back in time to 750 – 1100 CE to investigate what scientists have uncovered about the Norse culture and the period now known as the Viking age. Discover the true meaning of the term “Viking.” Gather your own archaeological team to help you digitally excavate a traditional Norse ship. Hear stories about life as a Viking trader from Thorgrim the Dane, or master the secrets of rune reading from Volva Rundis Elidottir. Examine rare artifacts never before seen outside of Scandinavia. 

nhmu resident vikings

NHMU's resident Vikings

Challenging Stereotypes

Would it surprise you to know that some of the most popular Viking characterizations are little more than myth? Legends and some historical accounts depict these early Norsemen as blood-thirsty raiders, but modern archaeological evidence has begun to challenge many of these long-held beliefs.

Norse men and women, living in what is now Norway, Sweden and Denmark, were highly skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen. They transformed many raw materials such as wood, bone, leather, stone, iron, steel and precious metals, into the tools and treasures of everyday.

Young archaeologists excavating a Viking Age boat

Young archaeologists excavating a Viking Age boat 

Vikings in Utah

Today, about 14.9% of Utah’s 3,000,000 residents are of Scandinavian descent. Many continue to celebrate and honor their ancestral connections by carrying on the skills and cultural traditions of the ancient Norse crafts. 

Aaron Richardson is one Utah artisan who creates, teaches and demonstrates the art of blacksmithing, using Viking-age methods, from his shop in Eden, Utah. Richardson is a historic interpreter, who draws inspiration for his creations from traditional Norse objects found during archaeological excavations. His story, and examples of his work are currently on display outside the third-floor elevators of the museum.

display about common Viking funeral practices

Display about common Viking funeral practices

More Viking Activities and Events

All summer long, and into the Fall, the museum is celebrating all things Viking, with special opportunities and events to discover more about ancient Norse culture and its people. 

  • Don’t miss Explore Your Viking Roots - Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 4pm to 8pm. Nordic research specialists will be on hand to help visitors explore their own family history. At 5:30pm, Geoff Morris, Nordic Specialist for FamilySearch, will share details from his research into Scandinavian history and genealogical records as well as provide insights into some of the rare objects on display in the Vikings exhibit. Find out more at: https://nhmu.utah.edu/events/familysearch-viking-ancestry
  • For a full day of Viking adventure, mark your calendar to attend Norse Fest, Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 10am to 5pm. Experience a variety of Norse arts, with performances and demonstrations by dancers, blacksmiths and weavers. Research your Viking roots, hear from Norse experts and historians, even sample Norse foods. Learn more at: https://nhmu.utah.edu/events/norse-fest

sky gallery visitors enjoying the views

Sky Gallery visitors enjoying the views

About the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah is a premier scientific research and cultural institution. It opened to the public in 1969 and moved into a spectacular, award winning new home in 2011. The Museum’s 30 scientists oversee active field research programs throughout Utah, and elsewhere, and help care for natural history collections of more 1.6 million objects. NHMU offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including timely and interactive temporary and permanent exhibits, numerous special events and other programs. The Museum reaches 450,000 people annually, at the Rio Tinto Center and in communities and classrooms statewide. 

-Kris Chapman

Kris Chapman, Public Relations Assistant at the Natural History Museum of Utah, has been writing and highlighting exciting museum happenings for just over two years. With a bachelor’s in communications, she has also worked as a photo assistant, a textbook editor and a freelance writer for magazines and corporate blogs. With a passion for all things creative, she dreams of one day writing from a tropical island, where her toes are free to wiggle in the sand.


ZAP Kids Summer Passport Week 8


July 19, 2017

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Explore ZAP- Week 8 Heading

Wondering where you can get your ZAP Passport stamped this week?  Look no further!  Earn your stamps at any of these destinations July 20 through July 27.

Just getting started and having trouble finding remaining Passports at your nearest Salt Lake County Library location?  You can download your own here.  

Destinations are free unless otherwise noted.  

Improv with Youth Theatre at the U
Thursday, July 20 | 4:30 PM Herriman Library

Join Youth Theatre at the U and their KAZUM JACKSON'S HILARIOUS PLAGUE improvisation troupe for creative and imaginative games at the library. 

Sounds of Summer Concert
Friday, July 21 | 6:30 PM  Midvale City Park

Enjoy free summer concerts on Friday evenings in the park this summer with Midvale Arts Council!  Activities provided by the Boys & Girls Club, Copperview Community Center and the local library. This week enjoy classic rock and pop hits with the band, Assembly 6.0.   

Make Your Own Pinata
Saturday, July 22 | 11 AM West Jordan Library
Wednesday, July 26 | 4:30 PM South Jordan Library **


Create your own mini piñata and learn about its origins with Artes de México en Utah!  Supplies will be provided for these bilingual visual arts workshops.  
**UPDATE:  The 7/26 piñata workshop has unfortunately been canceled.  We might suggest exploring a year round destination or the Wasatch Community Gardens Tour in its place (see details below).

Explore ZAP- Chickens!

Tomato Garden Tour
July 26 | 4 PM  Wasatch Community Gardens

Explore the Wasatch Community Gardens Tomato Garden and then learn what it's like to grow your own food in the city. Go on a tour of the gardens, meet our chickens, taste some fresh garden produce and make a take a seed pot while supplies last. Located at 800 S. 600 E. in Salt Lake City.    

OBT Presents: A Night at the Imperial
Friday & Saturday through July 29 | 7:30 PM The Off Broadway Theatre

The Off Broadway Theatre offers original family-friendly comedies and musical parodies for parents and kids alike.  Present the ZAP Kids Summer Passport, and each member of the family will receive a $2 discount off the regular (Adult, Student/Senior, or Child) price.  

Preservation Utah- Memory Grove Park

Destinations you can visit all summer long

Earn stamps at any of these locations throughout the summer.

Explore the Conservation Gardens
Stroll through the gardens, walk through a water pipe, learn to make compost or identify plants at the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan. Explore the Garden any day of the summer and get a stamp in your passport! Garden hours are from 8 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Saturday.   

Memory Grove Park Scavenger Hunt
Go on a scavenger hunt courtesty Preservation Utah and discover the art and architecture of Memory Grove Park! Get your passport stamp and scavenger hunt guide at the Memorial House (375 North Canyon Road in Downtown Salt Lake City), Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM).  

Explore ZAP- The Leonardo FLIGHT

Save $2 off the price of admission with your ZAP Passport at these destinations

 

 

  • Discovery Gateway Children's Museum 
    Visit Discovery Gateway and explore educational workshops, programs and exhibits that inspire the whole family to discover the power of play together.  
  • The Leonardo
    The Leonardo is a museum of creativity! Inside, you can discover the wonder of FLIGHT in their newest exhibit, delve into the mind-bending wonder of our exhibit on PERCEPTION, unleash your inner artist, scientist or engineer in one of our three hands-on laboratories, and even be moved by the exhibits in our Human Rights Gallery. Whatever you're interested in, The Leonardo will spark creativity and help you discover a whole new way to see the world. 
  • Tracy Aviary
    Tracy Aviary has more than 135 species and 400 individual birds on display. Guests are encouraged to wander its 8 acres and appreciate the different colors, sizes and sounds of our feathered friends.

 


Ticket Tuesday with the JCC


July 18, 2017

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Ticket Tuesday- SLC JCC
A winner has been chosen for this VIP giveaway to THE FABULOUS FLYNNSTONES concert courtesy the IJ and Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center.


ZAP Kids Summer Passport Week 7


July 13, 2017

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Explore Your World- Week 7

Let's keep the summer fun going!  Earn stamps in your ZAP Kids Summer Passport at any of these destinations July 12-19.   Don't forget, you need at least 5 stamps from different destinations to attend the Final Destination Celebration at the Clark Planetarium on August 30! 

Just getting started and having trouble finding remaining Passports at your nearest Salt Lake County Library location?  You can download your own here.  

Destinations are FREE unless otherwise noted. 

Discover Something New in Your Own Backyard

 

BioBlitz with NHMU

 

July 12 at Whitmore Library | 11 AM - 2 PM


July 19 at Hunter Library | 11 AM - 2 PM 

Stop by Whitmore Library anytime during the time frame and learn more about the natural world with the Natural History Museum of Utah!  Bioblitz is an interactive citizen-science program where you can learn how to participate in scientific research.

Line Monster Game 

July 12 | 4:30 PM South Jordan Library

Learn to create funny monsters in the Line Monster Game with Visual Art Institute! Using only pencils and sharpies, kids will create their own unique and colorful monsters all while playing an immersive game. 

Backstage Tour

July 13 | 1 PM & 2 PM Eccles Theater

More tours added by popular demand!  Join Salt Lake County Center for the Arts for a backstage tour of the new Eccles Theater.  Meet in the lobby by the ticket office, and present your passport for a stamp.

 

Explore ZAP- U Youth Theatre

Improv Theatre Fun 

July 13 | 6:30 PM Millcreek Library


July 19 | 4:30 PM South Jordan Library 

Experience Youth Theatre at the U will bring their KAZUM JACKSON'S HILARIOUS PLAGUE improvisation troupe to play creative and imaginative games with the audience.

Sounds of Summer Concert

July 14 | 6:30 PM  Midvale City Park

Enjoy free summer concerts on Friday evenings in the park this summer with Midvale Arts Council!  Activities provided by the Boys & Girls Club, Copperview Community Center and the local library. This week’s performance group: City Jazz Big Band.

Explore ZAP- Fiddlers

 

Utah Old Time Fiddlers Concert

July 17 | 3 PM 

Holladay Library 

Experience lively old-time fiddle music with theUtah Old Time Fiddlers!  They sing traditional country music and use a variety of acoustic instruments including fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and harmonica.

Book-inspired Art Workshop

July 19 | 10:30 AM Sandy Library

Create art inspired by your favorite children’s books with Bad Dog Arts

July 19 | 4:30 PM
Kazum Jackson’s Hilarious Plague Improv at

Youth Theatre at the U will bring their KAZUM JACKSON'S HILARIOUS PLAGUE improvisation troupe to play creative and imaginative games with the audience.  

Find more destinations you can visit all summer here

Enjoy your experience or learn something new?  Share it with us on Instagram using #exploreZAP!


Art Programs for Adults with Disabilities Fill a Community Need


July 12, 2017

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Register

for a
Tanner Dance
class for
adults today.


Since the 90s, Tanner Dance has been holding classes at their University of Utah studios for children with disabilities, and in recent years, many of these students have reached adulthood. For example, Nathan, a Salt Lake County resident with Down syndrome, recently graduated from high school at age 22. Nathan began dancing at Tanner when he was eight years old, and according to his mother Ann, those classes were influential in helping Nathan develop skills like motor ability and social interaction. Now that Nathan is 22, he is too old to participate in post-high activities through Salt Lake City School District and he was finding himself with plenty of free time. His mother Ann said, “There’s nothing for these kids to do during the day, so they spend the bulk of their time watching television and browsing social media.” After conversations with families like Nathan’s about the need for more opportunities for learning and growth for adults with disabilities in this community, Tanner Dance launched two new arts programs for Nathan and his peers in 2016. 

tanner dance classes for students with disabilities by ari davis

This first program, Elevate Theater Company, began in January 2016 for participants like David, who enjoys his job as a mail courier at the Salt Lake County office building. Because of David’s cognitive disability, his mother Joan has advocated throughout David’s life to get him access to the best programs that will increase his activity levels and opportunities for friendships. Joan and Tanner Dance worked together to model Elevate Theater Company after Detour Company Theatre in Phoenix that facilitates the production of multiple musicals each year performed by hundreds of participants with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

elevate performance by lisa thornton

In Salt Lake City, Elevate Theater Company began with thirteen participants between the ages of fifteen and 65 who learned music, dance, and narration from various Broadway hits like “Oh The Thinks You Can Think!” from Seussical the Musical, which they performed for friends and family in April 2016. The company reconvened in August 2016 on Saturday mornings to learn and rehearse a full-length production titled Press Start, which they performed in Tanner Dance’s Black Box Theater to over 300 members of the community. Press Start is a musical about classic video game characters (think Pac Man and Mario) who decide to hold a musical fundraiser earn gold coins and get more lives. This performance, which took place on May 6, 2017, included professional sound and lighting, costumes created by the participants, and speaking lines for every participant who had the ability to speak. As of spring 2017, twenty adults participated in Elevate Theater Company with a waiting list of ten more potential participants. 

elevate performance by lisa thornton 2

The second program Tanner Dance created is titled LEADD (Learning and Engaging through Arts Discipline and Development), and it launched in August 2017 to provide afternoon art classes to adults ages 22 and up with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. This program took place on Thursday afternoons during the 2016-2017 school year, and students worked with experienced arts specialists and therapists to learn music, dance, and visual art. Through arts experiences, these ten students enhanced skills like communicating verbally, increasing spatial awareness, interpreting directions, working with someone else toward a common goal, recognizing themes and patterns, and asking for help. They ended the year with an art gallery and performance titled Self-Portrait, where the exuberance and joy of the performers left the audience in tears. 

leadd performance by sam featherstone

Both LEADD and Elevate Theater Company will grow in capacity for the 2017-2018 school year, and they are currently taking new registrations through Tanner Dance. Tuition is subsidized by ZAP, and Tanner Dance also offers needs-based scholarships and is a provider for the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities, making these programs possible for all. LEADD and Elevate would also not exist without the tireless help of dozens of community volunteers, including university and high school students, who participate alongside students and assist in their learning. 

leadd performance by sam featherstone 2

Nathan participates in both the LEADD and Elevate programs, and his mother Ann says they have helped him be creative, strengthen his mind, improve his conversational skills, and provide him with continuing education on a university campus. Providing an engaging and joyous life for adults with disabilities is a community effort, and Tanner Dance is grateful for the support that makes this possible. 

- Lyndsi Pace

Lyndsi Pace has worked in dance company management for five years. She serves as Program Manager for the University of Utah Tanner Dance Program, specializing in marketing and development. One of her favorite projects at Tanner has been helping to develop arts programs for people with disabilities. Lyndsi holds a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University and a master’s in Arts Administration from Boston University. 


Ticket Tuesday with Empress Youth Theatre


July 11, 2017

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  Empress Youth Theatre Ticket Tuesday

Winners have been chosen for this Ticket Tuesday courtesy The Empress Theatre. Stay tuned for future giveaways!


Beyond your Demographic: Cross Over Films


July 05, 2017

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I grew up in a rural town of Salt Lake County known as Riverton, Utah. It’s not a small town anymore, the urban sprawl has eaten up most of the open fields, but when I lived there cows were my backyard neighbors.  Most of my culture came from the movies, television, and the occasional community play.  I didn’t know any gay people growing up; at least none that were openly gay to me.  My exposure to the gay community came in the form of 90’s television stereotypes, the quirky best friend that never gets the girl but never seems to mind, or the tough gal who fixes things and wears a leather jacket. I vividly remember after high school two young men from a restaurant I worked at took me to my first Salt Lake City PRIDE event. This is probably as a good time as ever, to come out and admit I’m straight. From that day forward I have been so impressed with the warmth of this community, they accepted me for me, didn’t try to change or recruit me, and have never looked down on me for my narrow-minded sexual identity. The more I hung out with these friends, saw their struggles and celebrated their triumphs, the more our differences faded away and they ceased being my gay friends, and me the straight girl, and we were just friends. 

Nine years ago I began working for the Utah Film Center and one of my first major events was the Damn These Heels film festival, the only LGBTQ film festival in Salt Lake City.  The festival celebrates its 14th anniversary this year and is an opportunity to honor our differences and relate to one another through the commonalities.  Over the past nine years I have worked with numerous directors, producers, and actors as they tell the stories that they don’t see in mainstream media. If these films were shown at the multiplex, we wouldn’t need an LGBT film festival. But for reason’s I don’t care to dignify with a discussion, these films -- many award-winning films from international film festivals -- don’t see the widespread distribution that they justly deserve. Films like Pushing Dead, which will be shown Sunday July 16th at 12:15 pm. This film has received one the highest honors a festival can bestow on a film, the Audience Choice award, not once but four times, along with two Jury awards, and a Best Director award! Pushing Dead tells the harsh truth about what happens when you’re thrown off your Medicaid because the government thinks you make too much money. This topic hits home for many Americans but when you add that the character is HIV positive, we call it an LGBTQ film.  (While the film might sound like a downer, truth can be funnier than fiction so don’t pull out your tissues just yet. )

dth film festival

In the film industry we call them “cross over” films -- films that appeal to wide audiences regardless of your sexual preferences and gender.   As with the mainstream media we can’t pretend to know what films will resonate with each person or “demographic.” I’d hate to be contained in the white, heterosexual, woman in her 40s box.  I want to see films that make me laugh, cry, or challenge the way I view the world.

In order to program for such a wide array of interests, Utah Film Center curates a community programming team to view hundreds of films and whittle the choices down to 35-50 films at which time our programming staff selects the best 20 or so films. This year’s line up is rich with talent, subject matter, international representation, narratives and documentaries.  Chavela is one of the a documentaries at the festival, it screens Saturday July 15th at 10 am. The film traces the legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas whose beauty and charm gave her success worldwide but she couldn’t outrun her demons and only found happiness when she began to live her truth by coming out at 81 years young. 

dth film festival 2

As parents, I know all we want is for our kids to be safe, healthy, and happy. This struggle is even harder when your kids are faced with discrimination and bullying and not just on the playground but by adults who should know better. In Raising Zoey, Ofelia Barba fights for her daughter to have a safe future where Zoey is free to  pursue her happiness.

Raising Zoey screens Saturday, July 15th at 2:30 pm.

dth film festival 3

Whether straight, L.G.B.T. or Q these films don’t separate us, or categorize us, they are meant to bring us all together under the umbrella of humanity. No matter where you reside, or what demographic box you fill out, I hope you’ll join the Utah Film Center July 14-16th at the Rose Wagner Performing Art Center for the Damn These Heels film festival and then lets just all be friends. 

-Mariah Mann Mellus

Mariah Mann Mellus is currently the Development Director for the Utah Film Center, but has previously held the title of Marketing Coordinator, Outreach and Membership Coordinator, and Education and Community Program Manager. When not at Utah Film Center Events she supports the community by way of the Utah Cultural Alliance, and multiple community boards.  She and her husband Derek have two beautiful children whom they hope to raise to tell their own stories and to listen, serve, and support the community wherever needed.





Ticket Tuesday to SLC Jazz Festival


July 05, 2017

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Ticket Tuesday- SLC Jazz Festival

Winners have been chosen for this Ticket Tuesday contest courtesy Jazz Arts of the MountainWest.  Stay tuned for future giveaways.


ZAP Kids Summer Passport Week 5-6


June 28, 2017

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Explore ZAP- Wasatch Community Gardens

Welcome explorers!  

We've had a great summer so far, and we're excited to continue exploring with you! With the 4th of July holiday coming up we have included opportunities for the next two weeks where you can earn stamps in your ZAP Kids Summer Passport (June 28 - July 11).  Enjoy your experience or learn something new?  Share it with us on Instagram using #exploreZAP!

Destinations are FREE unless otherwise noted.

Get in touch with the natural world

Wednesday, June 28 | 11 AM - 2 PM West Jordan Library

Participate in a drop-in, BioBlitz activity with the Natural History Museum of Utah .  Bioblitz is an interactive citizen-science program where you can learn how to participate in scientific research by making your own observations right in your backyard.

Wednesday, June 28 | 4 PM Wasatch Community Gardens

Explore the Wasatch Community Gardens Tomato Garden and then learn what it's like to grow your own food in the city. Go on a tour of the gardens, meet our chickens, taste some fresh garden produce and make a take a seed pot while supplies last. Located at 800 S. 600 E.  

Friday, June 30 & July 7 | 6:30 PM Midvale City Park

Midvale Arts Council  is presenting free summer concerts in the park on Friday evenings with activities provided by the Boys & Girls Club, Copperview Community Center and the local library.  Enjoy performances by the Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band on June 30, and A Western Variety Show on July 7.

Explore ZAP- One Voice Childrens Choir

Collect an art experience at the library

Saturday, July 8 | 10:15 AM Hunter Library Children’s Yard

The internationally renowned One Voice Children's Choir  will perform a musical concert highlighting some of the incredible songs they will also be singing in France this year!  

Thursday, June 29 | 4:30 PM Herriman Library

and Tuesday, July 11 | 2:30 PM Columbus Library

Learn to create funny monsters in the Line Monster Game with Visual Art Institute ! Using only pencils and sharpies, kids will create their own unique and colorful monsters all while playing an immersive game.  

Tuesday, July 11 | 4 PM Sandy Library

Enjoy some improv with Youth Theatre at the U as they bring their KAZUM JACKSON'S HILARIOUS PLAGUE improvisation troupe to play creative and imaginative games with the audience.  

 Explore ZAP- Discovery Gateway Childrens Museum

Destinations you can visit all summer long

Earn stamps at any of these locations throughout the summer.  

Conservation Garden Park  is open to the public free of charge. Come walk through a water pipe, learn to make compost or identify plants. Explore the Garden any day of the summer and get a stamp in your passport! Garden hours are from 8 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Saturday.

Visit   Discovery Gateway Children's Museum  and explore educational workshops, programs and exhibits that inspire the whole family to discover the power of play together. Present your passport for $2 off the price of admission.

The Empress Theatre  supports local talent to provide family-oriented fun for Magna and its surrounding areas. This summer's shows are Peter and the Starcatcher and Honk Junior. If you present the ZAP Kids Summer Passport to the box office, you will get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket ($12). 

The Leonardo is a museum of creativity! Inside, you can discover the wonder of FLIGHT in their newest exhibit, delve into the mind-bending wonder of our exhibit on PERCEPTION, unleash your inner artist, scientist or engineer in one of our three hands-on laboratories, and even be moved by the exhibits in our Human Rights Gallery. Whatever you're interested in, The Leonardo will spark creativity and help you discover a whole new way to see the world. Present your passport for $2 off the price of admission.

Explore ZAP- Mundi Project

Mundi Project  offers free weekly group piano lessons for beginners of all ages. Drop in for hands-on music instruction at Salt Lake Public Library-Glendale, every Saturday beginning June 10 from 11 AM to 12 PM.   

The Off Broadway Theatre  offers original family-friendly comedies and musical parodies for parents and kids alike. This summer's shows are Pirates of the Carabeener, The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Imperial, and Utahoma! Present the passport and each member of the family will receive a $2 discount off the regular (Adult, Student/Senior, or Child) price.  

Preservation Utah  will provide children with a scavenger hunt of the art and architecture of Memory Grove Park. Passport stamp and scavenger hunt can be picked up at the Memorial House (375 North Canyon Road, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM).    

Salty Cricket Composers Collective offers El Sistema Summer Camps that empower young people to become effective citizens. Mention your passport when you call or email to reserve your spot at the camp to get 15% off one week's tuition. Bring your passport on the first day of camp for a stamp.  

Tracy Aviary  has more than 135 species and 400 individual birds on display. Guests are encouraged to wander its 8 acres and appreciate the different colors, sizes and sounds of our feathered friends. Present your passport at the gate for a $2 discount on the price of admission.  


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Ticket Tuesday with Taylorsville Arts Council


June 27, 2017

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Ticket Tuesday- Taylorsville Arts Council

Winners have been chosen for this Ticket Tuesday courtesy Taylorsville Arts Council.

Stay tuned for future giveaways!