THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR JUL 27 - AUG 2 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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A Greater Utah/Statewide Annual '23 @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Great Salt Lake Fringe, Springville World Folkfest, and ore


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A Greater Utah/Statewide Annual '23 @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
The "Utah" in "Utah Museum of Contemporary Art" isn't just an indication of where it's located; it's an indication of the extent to which the institution celebrates the work of Utah artists. What those artists are like, and what they present in their work, continues to evolve, and two new exhibitions at UMOCA bring that evolution to center stage.

A Greater Utah finds six curators offering an overview of the current Utah art scene, representing 27 living artists from every corner of the state. The title itself indicates a broadening of the sense of what "Utah art" is, moving beyond the population centers to cover the farther reaches of the state. Participating artists include Kelly Tapìa-Chuning ("sepultado, este coyote ya no ladra" is pictured), Art Morrill, Fazilat Soukhakian, Levi Jackson, Mitsu Salmon, Wren Ross, Xi Zhang, RJ Colorow, Chelsea Kaiah, Valentina Sireech, Makia Sharp, Brooklyn Johnson, Rachel Stallings-Thomander and Collin Bradford.

Also on display at UMOCA is the Utah Division of Art and Museums Statewide Annual, this year with the focus on mixed media and works on paper. That "works on paper" designation includes artist books, drawings, screenprints and collages, while "mixed media" includes found-object work, audio, lights and more. It's yet another opportunity to appreciate the breadth of creativity captured under the umbrella of "Utah art."

These two exhibitions—along with the solo shows Alexis Rausch: Nobody likes it here, Ben Sang: Gut Set and Steven Stalling: Left Time—will have an opening reception Friday, July 28 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., featuring performance by Rocio Cisneros-Vasquez and DJ music by AMEA. Tickets are free but registration is required; visit for additional information. (Scott Renshaw)

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Great Salt Lake Fringe
The very nature of a "fringe festival" makes it a place that's really about experimentation and discovery. With a history that goes back nearly 70 years to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is a concept that has blossomed around the country and around the world, allowing performing artists to take chances on formats and subject matter that might be a much harder sell in conventional theatrical environments. Our own version—the Great Salt Lake Fringe—returns in 2023, with festival director Jay Perry noting, "Fringe is an unadjudicated, unrestricted and accessible way for artists to share their work, while supporting each other and making new connections."

For the 2023 Great Salt Lake Fringe, 20 shows will be offered, running the gamut from dance to stand-up comedy, from experimental drama to classical Greek theater. Options include the one-person musical monologue drag-queen show Roxie Hart Syndrome (pictured); The Advantageous Adventures of Mrs. Meddlesome, a comedic spin on Agatha Christie-style amateur sleuths; Meaningless, a one-person interpretation of the Book of Ecclesiastes; David Isn't Getting Into Heaven, the tale of a millennial's unsettling post-death encounter with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates; Eurpides' The Bacchae, presented by Classical Greek Theatre Festival; and Bedtime Stories, Interdisciplinary Arts Collective's avant-garde exploration of myths and archetypes.

The Great Salt Lake Fringe takes place July 28 – Aug. 6 at the Alliance Theater in Trolley Square (602 E. 500 South). Tickets are $15 for individual performances, with packages of $35 for three shows, and $85 for 10 shows. Visit for tickets and additional event information (SR)

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Springville World Folkfest
In 1986, BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble founder Mary Bee Jensen brought together a group of like-minded folks with a dream of creating a showcase for folk performers from around the world. More than 35 years later, that dream is still going strong, in a way that has inspired and enlightened thousands of visitors.

The 2023 Springville World Folkfest is scheduled to showcase seven international groups featuring nearly 250 dancers from 10 countries, including visitors from Bolivia, Mexico, Latvia, Serbia and the Czech Republic. All groups will be performing on the three main nights of the event in varying orders. Beyond the performances themselves, visitors are invited to meet the dancers at a new photo-op station, learn more about the participating cultures through booths and activities for all ages, and food truck options from around the world for a global culinary experience.

The event launches Tuesday, Aug. 1 with a Parade of Nations "Community Extravaganza" at University Place Mall in Orem (575 E. University Parkway) at 6 p.m., free to the public. Wednesday Aug. 2 brings the Opening Night "Storytelling from Around the World" hosted by Springville Library at the Springville Arts Park (700 S. 1300 East, Springville). The main festival takes place Aug. 3 – 5, with each night including special events like Indian rangoli art and African drumming. Tickets running $5-$14 for individual day passes, plus availability of group/family passes for $45 and individual full festival passes for $45. Visit for tickets and additional event information. (Scott Renshaw)