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?
The Uintah Basin Orchestra and Chorus will present a concert Friday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Vernal Middle School Auditorium. Conducted by Utah State University Music Department Head, Dr. James M. Bankhead, the UBOC was organized in November.
One hundred and sixty residents from Roosevelt and Vernal will perform holiday selections including Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, John Rutter’s Candelight Carol and Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, and arrangements from Mack Wilberg.
Creating an orchestra and chorus was the idea of USU’s Uintah Basin Dean Boyd Edwards and other musicians who wanted to bring music to the basin. An increasing number of families are moving to Eastern Utah to fill positions that have opened because of the oil and gas industry surge.
In 1913 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became the first organization in the nation to establish boy scout troops. Tuesday night Utah’s largest religious denomination held a celebration honoring the partnership between the LDS Church and a service program that has touched the lives of millions of boys.
The LDS Church marked the centennial with a stage spectacular where members of the Boys Scouts of America repelled from the rafters of the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Rope courses and fire outlook stations were constructed to accommodate the cast.
Preparations are underway for a traditional festival in Grand County. Moab’s 8th Annual Pumpkin’ Chuckin’ Festival on Saturday, Oct. 26, will feature the traditional community faire of food, music, and games. Unlike other family friendly events, this one will also include the tossing, smashing, and flinging of a popular seasonal squash - the pumpkin.
“We are going to have a ton of kid’s activities," said Delite Primus, Executive Director of Moab’s Youth Garden Project. "There is so much out here for kids to do."