Arts and Culture

BransonFest Coming To Mesquite In February

Jan 9, 2014

BransonFest Out West is coming to Mesquite, Nev. The  event runs Feb. 3-5 at the Casablanca Resort and Casino.

BransonFest features live music and entertainment from Branson, Mo., Las Vegas and elsewhere, according to the event’s website. This is BransonFest’s fifth year in Mesquite.

Sue Arko, owner of Free Spirit Vacations and Events and the event producer for BransonFest, said she was approached by the city of Mesquite to draw some mid-week business to the town.

Gun show, sandy, Rocky Mountain Gun Show

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."

Kids and Costumes Welcome at Family Pops Concert

Oct 23, 2013
Weston Lee Allen

The American Festival Chorus and Orchestra in Logan will present a first-of-its-kind show this weekend that producers say will entertain patrons young and old. Matt Jensen reports.

Jeff Ham's piece from the quick draw competition at the Kayenta Arts Festival, 2012., Artist: Jeff Ham

The Kayenta Arts Festival took place this week with diverse artists gathering to present their work. 

UPR reporter Chris Holmes spoke with Gayle Bray, spokesperson for the Kayenta Arts Foundation, as she discussed how the 14 years of the festival have created many opportunities for the independent artists of southern Utah.

Inaugural comic con exceeds all expectations

Sep 9, 2013
Cosplayers at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2013

Salt Lake City’s inaugural comic con outpaced even its creator’s expectations this weekend. The convention, which included panels featuring William Shatner, Stan Lee and Adam West, vendors and lots of costumes, sold 50,000 tickets for the 3 day event.

The huge turnout made the Salt Lake convention the largest inaugural comic con recorded and shows the convention may well be on its way to reaching San Diego status.

Event director Dan Farr said the convention used social media to compound ticket sales.

Postal Service: No deal with LDS Church

Aug 21, 2013

In an apparent change of plans, the U.S. Postal Service says it has no intentions of selling its downtown Provo Post Office to the LDS Church - even as a rising temple occupies the space around it.

Ongoing construction of the Provo City Center Temple is taking place at what were the burnt-out remains of the city’s Tabernacle. Road blocks are affecting street access to the nearby downtown post office, and Provo has also sold most of the roadway adjacent to the post office directly south of the new temple to the church.

Shoshone language, shoshone video game

Wednesday was National Navajo Code Talker Day. It’s a day commemorating the role of Navajo code talkers who used their native language to transmit secret information during World War II.
Today, many American Indian languages are dying out. To help remedy this problem, some Shoshone students are using a new kind of code—video game programming code—to help save their language and promote their culture.

Local artist takes first at Ogden competition

Aug 9, 2013
Desert Wake with first place ribbon.
Cody Chamberlain

Though many artists take inspiration from Utah’s unique landscapes; one Utah artist, Cody Chamberlain, hopes that his work will encourage viewers to think more about their role in the environment.

Chamberlain describes the deserts of the west as a harsh, yet gentle land that is the foundation of his work. Last week, he and other artists from around the state showed their work at 39th Annual Statewide art competition at the Eccles Community Art Center in Ogden.

Cache County Fair kicks off Thursday

Aug 8, 2013

It’s time for carnivals, clowns and cotton candy in Logan where the 134th Cache County Fair gets underway Thursday and runs through Saturday.

Organizers say they’re expecting big crowds through the three-day event. Everything from fine art to blue ribbon dairy cows will be on display. Fair manager and spokeswoman Jill Zollinger says there’s something for everyone.

Once each year the Utah State University ballroom is transformed into a 1940s' era supper club as the Celebrate America Show Corporation presents the big band event: In the Miller Mood.

“Live it Up” at the Ellen Eccles Theatre! Join thousands of ticket holders who enjoy live theatre entertainment, close to home, at the beautiful Ellen Eccles Theatre. Tickets for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts 2013-2014 performing arts season go on sale Monday, August 5, 2013 at 10 am. Enjoy wide-ranging programs of theatre, dance, music, and productions for the entire family, CVCA continues its commitment as northern Utah’s center for the performing arts, presenting the best national and international arts.


Utah Public Radio will be hosting photographer Mel Torrie and Jazz guitarist Kelin Gibbons Friday, August 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. in our downtown studios.

Every other month, on the second Friday, UPR joins with other local businesses to host the local artists and musicians. This provides an opportunity for the public to interact with our staff, learn about public radio, see and purchase local art, and listen to wonderful music.

Area residents will have a rare opportunity to witness a reading of a revised musical being evaluated for a possible return to the Broadway stage. Even more unique is the fact that the lyricist, Tony Award-winner Sheldon Harnick, and script writer Sherman Yellen will be in attendance along with representatives from the Rodgers and Hammerstein organization.

The Utah Division of Arts and Museums is dishing out $195,000 to museums across Utah, including Hill Aerospace Museum, Clark Planetarium and Thanksgiving Point.

More than 40 museums will receive a different dollar amount, but the vast majority of handouts are for $3,000 to $6,000.

A Cache Valley theater company is putting on an extra "encore" show to help raise funds for a cast member's family, whose home was destroyed in a house fire last weekend.

Lizzy John, a cast member in a recent Logan-based "Anne of Greene Gables" production didn't expect such generosity from her friends in the Cache Theatre Company after her home was destroyed by a house fire.


Utah Arts & Museums is seeking photographs from the public for our upcoming exhibition, “This Is the Place.” The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2013. The exhibition runs August 16 – September 13, 2013 at the Rio Gallery inside the Rio Grande Depot (300 South Rio Grande Street) in Salt Lake City. There will be a public reception on Friday, August 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. in collaboration with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

The USU Alumni Band will celebrate its 50 anniversary on July 14 at 7 p.m. on the Quad. The band is celebrating Bastille Day, a French holiday.

The national independence day for the European country remembers the storming of the Bastille fortress on July 14, 1789 and the end of the French Revolution.

The performance is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Kent Concert Hall.

A reception will be held in the Twain Tippets Exhibit Hall following the performance.

More than 250 musicians, performers and crew members from renowned stages across the nation have been working for months to perfect their performances for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre’s 21st season.

“Pioneers of the Oregon and California Trails” features activities for both children and adults. July 13 at 1 p.m., the American West Heritage Center will join the museum for a lecture highlighting the everyday experiences of settlers as they traveled across the West.

Throughout the day, children can play pioneer games, create their own yarn dolls, replicas of covered wagons and log cabins.

Arrival from Sweden dazzles Freedom Fire

Jul 3, 2013
Matt Jensen

Crowds couldn't get enough of the music of ABBA at Wednesday night's Freedom Fire event inside USU's Romeny Stadium in Logan.

LOGAN - Visitors to Utah State University's Museum of Anthropology are invited to explore the differences between modern humans and Neanderthals in activities June 29 as part of the museum's "Saturdays at the Museum" series.


An illustration lecture begins at 1 p.m.  Relating to the day's theme, the lecture explains the newest scientific evidence for humans and Neanderthals living together.


Exhibition "Love Hours" opens in Alice Gallery

Jun 20, 2013

 Utah Arts and Museums announces the opening of the exhibition “Love Hours” in the Alice Gallery, located inside the Glendinning Mansion. The show runs from June 21 to July 26 and gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An opening reception will be held June 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. during Gallery Stroll. The Glendinning Mansion is located at 617 East South Temple in Salt Lake City.