- Joseph Branca
Hale Center Theater Orem streaming shows
When arts performances began closing down in March, organizations approached the question of "what's next" in a variety of different ways. For Orem's Hale Center Theater, it was important to make it clear that their show would, in some fashion, go on.
"We wanted to make sure that people knew, right off the bat, that theater would still be happening," says HCT Orem's director of marketing and advertising, Joseph Branca. "A lot of theaters in Utah had to immediately close shop for a variety of reasons. We wanted to make sure that wasn't what happened for us."
So while live performances weren't an option, HCT turned to its history. The company had recorded many previous productions, and many of those productions were shows that were either in the public domain (like Shakespeare's As You Like It), or shows written over the years by the company's founders, Ruth and Nathan Hale (like the light comedy April Ann, available May 1-3, pictured). That made it possible for HCT Orem to make those productions available for streaming, with online patrons able to purchase tickets at haletheater.org and receive email instructions for accessing the stream.
The company has even figured out a way to deliver brand new work at this time, with a specially-created two-man version of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance that will be performed by Jake Ben Suazo and Benjamin J. Henderson, and available for viewing May 8-10. "We've broken it down and rewritten it as a show that could be performed remotely and safely," Branca says. (Scott Renshaw)
- Craft Lake City
Local Voices: Utah Must Lead the Way
For several years, the sidewalks of 300 South have been home to an evolving exhibition of works of art that are available to the public 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change might not have been created with a pandemic in mind, but it certainly presents a unique opportunity to stay connected with creative work at a time when physical homes for art are closed.
It's also an opportunity to take advantage of the way art can sometimes shine a light on subjects that might not be widely understood by the general public. The latest exhibition of The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change—presented in conjunction with Craft Lake City and Center for the Living City—explores the often hidden issue of violence as it affects indigenous women. The streetside, social-distancing-friendly exhibition Local Voices: Utah Must Lead the Way finds local artist Denae Shanidiin, revealing how Salt Lake City ranks among the top 10 cities in the nation for cases of murdered and missing indigenous women. The placards present startling statistical information, paired with evocative images by local photographer Jonathan Canlas. Utah's recently-passed House Bill 116 created a task force dedicated to policies and recommendations for reducing violence against indigenous women and girls.
"Right now there is nothing being done to actually save the lives of Indigenous relatives at risk of murder, human trafficking, rape, etc.," Shanidiin says. "Change and protection will not happen until we actually recognize, understand this issue and until we touch the hearts of those who are non-indigenous." (SR)
- Courtesy Photo
The Flat File
Back in January, when Adam Bateman started gathering artist submissions for his new project The Flat File, he had no way of knowing that it might be an ideal project to help visual artists during a pandemic. But as he launches it this month, it's serving as a direct connection between artists and an audience of potential collectors who might not even know they could be collectors.
Based on similar concepts launched in New York and Los Angeles, The Flat File provides a physical storehouse for works on paper. While that physical location is inaccessible at this time—and will be announced at a later date—it nonetheless offers potential buyers work by talented local contemporary artists at an accessible price point.
"At first I thought, 'Should I put it on hold?'" Bateman says. "But this was a good opportunity to potentially support artists when their resources are dwindling. Launching now could hopefully provide income to some artists."
More than 50 local artists are represented at theflatfile.bigcartel.com, including Claire Taylor (pictured), Trent Call, Stephanie Leitch and Josh Winegar. More than 50% of the available pieces can be purchased for less than $400, with many under $200.
"I was trying to move away from the traditional gallery model anyway," Bateman adds. "The original idea was that the website would drive people into the physical location where [potential buyers] could have this experience of actually making contact with the works. That part is on hold, of course, but the realization I had was that maybe it wasn't as important as I thought it was." (SR)
- Liz Joerger
Downtown SLC Walking Tours
Among the few blessings of the coronavirus lockdown for those along the Wasatch Front is its timing.
While the lockdown has kept people from congregating with each other, the mild spring weather has made it a lot easier for those who are self-isolating to take some time out of each day to go for a walk. And while exercise, fresh air and burning off some energy from stir-crazy kids and dogs are perfectly good reasons on their own for a stroll, it's also possible to turn your outside-the-house excursions into something with a little purpose and education.
Online resources for Salt Lake City walking tours are available from several organizations, but among the most interesting and comprehensive are from Preservation Utah. The 53-year-old organization, dedicated to preserving "Utah's built environment," offers printable brochures (at preservationutah.org) for 10 different walks in the SLC area, including historic buildings on Capitol Hill, Memory Grove, modernism at the University of Utah and the historic warehouse and Gateway district that was once the center of the local railroad industry. For families with school-age children looking for an outdoor variation on the stay-at-home schooling routine, there are even kid-friendly brochures with topics like "Time Travel on South Temple."
To take your strolling to the next level, download the Preservation Utah app for smartphones or tablets, featuring history and photos accompanying heritage walks to make your touring even more interactive. As you find that time to break up your housebound day, give yourself the opportunity to learn more about the city you call home. (SR)