Held in the spring to celebrate the renewal of life, pow-wows have traditionally served as vehicles for sharing and preserving Native American culture. The Native American Student Council at Utah State University will be hosting their annual pow-wow this weekend. Jason Brough, the president of this council, is Shoshone and part of the north-western band.
“If you go to the pow-wow, there’s a lot of spirituality that’s out there. It’s very much a religious ceremony, so you can still get those same feelings. You start hearing the drum going and that, I find, inspires people to learn more about the culture,” Brough says.
Pow wows are rife with symbolism, from the traditional regalia or special dress, to the symbolism of the circle which the audience and drum group form. Regardless of your background, there is something there for everyone.
Gospel Choir Director Pastor Chantel Wright of New York City is the guest conductor for Saturday evening's concert "Encore! A Night of Gospel Music." The American Festival Chorus, USU Chamber Singers, and SLC Cavalry Baptist Choir will be collaborating for this performance.
Saturday evening over 300 singers will take to the stage of the Kent Concert Hall at Utah State University to perform in the American Festival Chorus’ “Night of Gospel Music.” Pastor Chantel Wright of New York City will be featured as a guest conductor.
Literally meaning “the good news,” the word “gospel” describes the very essence of this genre and tradition of choral music. Artistic Director of the American Festival Chorus and Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, Dr. Craig Jessop says he has developed a love-affair for this music. Referring to guest conductor Chantel Wright he said:
"We brought her out two years ago in 2012 for an 'Evening of Gospel' because I knew Chantel could give us something Logan, Utah does not have. She came and the walls are still rocking from that concert and we had tremendous requests to ‘do it again, do it again."
The Kimball Art Center located in Park City, Utah will present an unprecedented exhibit entitled “The Art of the Timepiece.” The collection owned by part-time Park City resident Karol Renau has never been shown publicly in this way.
Nearly 200 watches, clocks, and timepieces of every kind will be on display, showcasing the intimate and intricate art and science of watchmaking. Native-born Polish photographer and electrical engineer Karol Renau first began collecting, then fixing watches which introduced him to their fine inner workings.
“It is absolutely a hidden art because if you open some of these watches and look inside, it is absolutely stunning. There are such beautiful engravings and there are such artistic pictures inside. It’s absolutely amazing. For me it was almost like a discovery,” Renau said.
Logan’s 27th annual chocolate festival is where amateur and professional chefs put their chocolate skills to the test.
In 1987, the Logan Planned Parenthood Advisory board created the chocolate festival as a way to raise money and interact with the community.
Over the last 26 years, the number of entries has ranged from 30 to 75. But one constant group of professionals emerge- the pastry chefs of Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread. Why? Well, because it's tradition.
"Crumb Brothers has done this since Crumb Brothers has been around. It's a fun tradition. It involves the whole community," said chef Samantha Powell.
Powell is joined by chefs Jen Rudd and Kanako Arnold in this year's competition team. With a history of winning, they say the pressure to do well is on.
"There is some pressure. It's fun and it's exciting. Really, I get so many ideas from the amateur division. They are so creative. But yes, there's a little pressure. You think you have to do something better and something more creative every year," Powell said.
"If it doesn't win, what does that say about it?" Rudd said.
"Did we fail the person before us? Things like that," Powell said.
At the National Poetry Gathering in Elko, the arts in all of its forms take center stage. Western rural artists understand how music, poetry and storytelling seem to communicate more intimately than by any other means. They use this to their advantage to share both the charms and the challenges of rural living.
Rural Sociologist and Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University, John Allen grew up on a cattle ranch in Baker, Oregon. His unique perspective combines academic research with real-life experiences to create a different take on what it means today to be a rural American.
“In a rural area you wave to everyone and you say hello, whether you like them or not you just go ahead and do that. In an urban area you’d look down and you don’t make eye contact,” Allen said. “I think it was really stressed to me, I was in an elevator one day and there are all these people and they’re touching you! And you have to ignore them! I can’t even drive down the street in a rural area and not say hello, but to have you leaning on me? There’s a real difference between how we look at interaction in a rural area vs. an urban area it has a personalization in a rural area that you don’t necessarily get.”
This week, hundreds of rural and urban folk alike are coming together at the 30th National Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. Participants are being entertained with live music and poetry recitings as well as participating in in discussions regarding issues facing those living a rural lifestyle in a modern west.
The energy in the mountain air of the small community of Elko, Nev. is palpable this time of year. Rural westerners and urban-ites are again making the yearly pilgrimage to celebrate western culture. Through art and discussion, many have said that this special event borders on spiritual.
This year’s theme “Expressing the Rural West – Into the Future,” highlights the increased focus on technology in the rural west, and the opportunities and challenges that come with that.
“We want the event to be fun, first of all, and I think people come to the event to have a good time. A lot of the theme is reflected in entertaining things and things that show off the creativity of rural westerners,” said Meg Glaser, artistic director at the Western Folklife Center in Elko.
The week-long event is open to all, even those who don’t have a rural background.
The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera will present their yearly concert for members of the community who are often limited when it comes to enjoying cultural opportunities this week.
It was during a board meeting 14 years ago that the CEO of the Utah Symphony and Orchestra was asked by a father to help find a way to include families and their special needs children so they could have access to music and performances without worrying about being disruptive.
"He had a son with Autism and he said one of the things that our family needs is a cultural event we can attend together," said Paula Fowler, the director of education and community outreach for the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera.
Fowler said the father was concerned the public thought families with special needs children couldn't control their children.
Every few months, the Rocky Mountain Gun Show comes to Sandy’s South Towne Expo Center. In fact, you may have noticed advertisements for the show this January. If you’re unfamiliar with what happens at a gun show, it’s mostly self-explanatory: it’s an exhibition of guns, ammunition, and other related paraphernalia.
Gun shows have become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell firearms. But they are also controversial, with gun control proponents arguing that loose regulations on sales can make it too easy for guns to end up in the wrong hands.
But as it turns out, guns shows aren’t just about guns. At the epicenter of such a hotly debated swath of our culture, could there be something for everyone?