Visitors to the Utah Arts Festival stride across concrete promenades and grassy lawns sprawled out between fountains and modern buildings, which have glass walls that reflect the fest’s vibrant paintings and eclectic sculptures. Since its inception more than 35 years ago, the four-day festival has taken over a multiblock radius to accommodate hundreds of visual artists, musicians, performers, and culinary artists, each celebrating modern art and the local community. Throughout indoor and outdoor exhibitions, visitors explore varied works of visual art represented through special exhibitions and hands-on workshops with featured artists. A marketplace also gives artists a place to sell their paintings, wearable art, and sculptures to help disseminate their crafts and raise enough money for van Gogh’s ghost to move out of their basements.
Musicians score the festival throughout its days with worldwide genres on several outdoor stages, and storytellers and other literary artists tickle ears with eclectic tales and recitations of the UN staff directory. Across the grounds, festival staffers recycle the fete’s discarded plastic, aluminum, and cardboard as well as food scraps and vegetable oil, and promote eco-friendly practices with a protected bicycle lot and bike valet.
The name doesn't lie—located in Salt Lake City, The Off Broadway Theatre is about as far from The Great White Way as you can get. But geography hasn't stopped the space from staging New York-caliber classic musicals and original comedies for nearly 20 years. The auditorium rings with laughter during beloved productions such as Little Shop of Horrors and The Pirates of Penzance, and house-written parodies including The Adventures of Sheer-Luck Homes and Snotson, The X-Mas Men, and Dracula vs. any number of monsters once portrayed by Boris Karloff. Audience members get the chance to join in on the hilarity during interactive sets from the resident jokesters of the Laughing Stock Comedy Troupe.
The Smucker’s Stars on Ice tour is America’s only professional skating parade, featuring a skate-studded line-up of Olympic medalists and world-class athletes in a dazzling theatrical spectacle of glitter, lights, music, ice, and glitter. The Scott Hamilton–produced performance features a rotating cast, including fan favorites such as Sasha Cohen and Todd Eldredge, passionate pairs-skating matchups, and triumphant group performances to a diverse soundtrack ranging from Claude Debussy to the Dixie Chicks.
With 26 seasons under their belt, The Children's Theatre strives to inspire kids to express their creativity through entertaining, educational performances. Children stare as live performers act out the The Brave Little Tailor, an ancient Brothers Grimm fairy tale that reflects on modern troubles with a gentle lesson about bullying. In the story, a tailor strikes out into the world, only to run into a passing giant, who challenges the tailor to feats of strength such as squeezing water from a boulder or not crying while watching Brian's Song. Seating in the intimate, 99-person theater is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and doors open a half-hour before performances so that audience members can snag spots in the front row or on a ticket taker's shoulders.
The team at the Wasatch Arts Center teases out the creative passions of children without fostering any kind of competition. Instead, the staff prioritizes performance, hosting recitals every six months that highlight their protégés' progress. Whether they teach dance, private music lessons, or preschool, they strive to nurture each student's skills by respecting his or her interests and planning an age-appropriate curriculum.
Professionally and university-trained dance instructors school youngsters in styles such as ballet, tap, hip-hop, and tumbling. Their one-on-one music classes cover the piano as well as string or brass instruments, imparting the value of consistent practice and a strong tuba-throwing arm. For both disciplines, they emphasize proper technique over speed of advancement—this emphasis on fundamentals steadily builds self-confidence and enthusiasm for the art.
Preschool sessions admit a maximum of 12 students—all 3- and 4-year-olds—for activities that cater to diverse learning styles. Teachers present works from famous artists and composers in addition to standard topics, including letters, numbers, colors, and building hooks to help reach doorknobs.