Year of the Arts

Arts Elevate. Utah State University’s 2017- 2018 Year of the Arts spotlights the unique power of the arts to illuminate, transform and inspire the human spirit.

Utah Public Radio is proud to be part of this celebration by featuring reports and stories that highlight the importance of the arts in all aspects of life. Join us for Access Utah and listen for news reports and features from our news team as we spotlight USU’s Year of the Arts on Utah Public Radio.

Erica McNeil / The Utah Statesman



The Utah State University Democrats Club rallied last Thursday in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA - the program created by former President Obama that protects undocumented children from being deported, which President Trump has threatened to end.

The Life Of A Shakespearean Actor

Sep 28, 2017
Alyssa Robinson

The Utah Shakespeare Festival presents several Shakespeare classics along with contemporary and original works each season. The Tony Award-winning repertory company is packed with opportunities for visitors to learn about the plays beforehand, tour backstage and watch live performances. 

USU Libraries

Opera comes in all shapes and sizes. Considered an elitist art form by many, it is capable of touching souls from pioneers and farmers to apostles and politicians. While it may be an acquired taste, we are lured to it via recitals, concerts, oratorios, and even Broadway musicals and anecdotal tales. 

Utah State University

Wednesday, we are taking pledges and replaying excerpts from some of our best interviews on Access Utah. We appreciate your support not only of us, but of the arts as well. Dr. Craig Jessop, Dean of Utah State University's Caine College of the Arts, and UPR's station manager Peg Arnold join us to discuss the unique importance of the arts. Join us as we revisit our favorite interviews — the best Access Utah has to offer.

Ensuring Safety For Logan's Block Film And Art Festival

Sep 18, 2017
The Block film and art festival volunteer photographer

  Downtown Logan is gearing up for the sixth year of The Logan Film Festival and second year of The Block Film Festival. The Block film and art festival, brings together non-competitive films, artists and musicians to provide a network for creators, locals and festival attendees.

Garth Lenz


  Hurricane Harvey and Irma broke storm records in the U.S. A USU Physics professor who studies climate change is joining with a northern Utah string quartet to encourage public discourse about the connections between recent natural disasters and sustainability.

Exploring The Life Of One Of Utah's Landscape Artists

Sep 7, 2017
Alyssa Robinson

Jimmy Jones, a southern Utah native who great up exploring Utah’s national parks, is considered by many to be one of the best landscape painters in the area.

USU's Center for Community Engagement


  A group of Utah State University students have created a photo gallery in Caffe Ibis, a coffee shop in downtown Logan. The gallery shares the stories of the women who grow the coffee for the brand Cafe Feminino.

Alyssa Robinson

A collection of landscape paintings featuring national parks and other areas around Cedar City is expanding.

Alyssa Robinson

The Utah Shakespeare Festival attracts Shakespearean actors from across the country. The actors said performing on the southern Utah stage is a step up and a push forward in performance of the popular works.

Stick Sculptures Helping Connect People To Nature

Aug 11, 2017
PC: Smithsonian Magazine


  Utah’s landscape of national parks, trees and mountains have inspired artists. One artist will use inspiration from trees to create stick sculptures that will be found around Utah next year.

Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist PatrickDougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlesslyintertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives.

This year the Utah Legislature voted on eight bills supporting arts and culture in Utah. Recently the Utah Cultural Advocacy Alliance released a report card presenting how the group feels Utah legislators are doing in regards to supporting arts and humanities. 

'The Book of Mormon' Musical Causing Ripples In Utah

Aug 4, 2017

Musical theater fans throughout Utah will be able to attend The Book of Mormon Musical in Salt Lake City this month. The musical, based on missionary culture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, brings up some interesting and complicated  feelings for members of the LDS Church.

A local company is engaged in a legal battle for private individuals to be able to use services to edit and sensor third party media.

Photo courtesy of Wellspring Educational Services

Monday's program is a window into the world of music therapy: an interesting intersection of arts and science. 

Music therapists work with patients of all ages for help in everything from reducing asthma episodes to lessening the effects of dimentia. The healing power of sound was even used to help Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords regain her ability to speak after she was shot in the head at a political event in Tuscon, Ariz.

Women Make Individualized Hijab to Dispel Stereotypes

Jul 28, 2017

Al Ahad: The Hijab Project, is a display of handmade hijabs that reflect the feelings of five Muslim women. Ana Antunes, a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, is doing her dissertation on the experiences of Muslim women and said the project morphed into an exhibit at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

Theater Company Celebrates 50 Years Of Memory Making

Jul 21, 2017

The Lyric Repertory Company theater in downtown Logan was recognized as a historic building in 1971. The building was originally built in 1913 by the Thatcher family after their previous opera house caught fire. 

Topaz Museum Performance Creates Empathy With Puppetry

Jul 14, 2017
Dennis Stock

A museum that includes historic information about Japanese Americans being held in an internment camp during WWII has opened in Utah. The ceremonies marking the opening of the Topaz Museum near Delta includes Japanese Koto music and a puppet performance depicting the culture and life of the camp.

Drag In Utah: A Portrait of Salt Lake City Drag Queens

Jul 13, 2017

In Salt Lake City, there's an active drag community. For local queens, watch parties for the cult classic television show "RuPaul's Drag Race" can be a first chance to perform — a sort of drag open mic night. For Salt Lake City queens Kay Bye and The Whore of '94, drag is self expression, defiance, and performance art, all wrapped up together in a pair of high heels and a wig. UPR's Katherine Taylor interviewed them as they put on their makeup before their performance that night. 

Drawing Inspiration From Utah's National Parks

Jul 7, 2017
Anthony Lott

Utah’s national parks are seeing a rise in tourists. Last year, Arches National Park hosted over 1.5 million visitors. The trend may be due to the scenic views which have been inspiring artists since its founding in 1929.


Hikers, explorers and artists seem to be drawn to Utah’s national parks. Anthony Lott is no exception. He first started exploring and creating art inspired by southern Utah’s landscapes as a child. Now he serves as the community artist for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments.

'Singing Sergeants' Reunited Through Song And Community

Jul 6, 2017
Weston Lee Allen

Recently a retiree Air Force choir gathered together to share music at Utah State University. The reunion focused on American music to remember and share experiences they had as the Singing Sergeants

Summerfest Recap: The Life Of A Summer-Festival Artist

Jun 23, 2017
Alyssa Robinson

Last week, artists and musicians gathered in downtown Logan to display and share their art. Many of the artists will go on to display their artwork at various festivals throughout the summer.

Alyssa Robinson



 Cache Valley’s largest summer festival, SummerFest, started Thursday. The festival includes 134 artists and 38 performers. This year’s festival features musicians, dancers and poets.

The impact of sexual violence on people in a plural marriage relationship can be complicated. In Utah, the state’s Coalition Against Sexual Assault is working with victims who struggle to find support for families who may have more than one spouse. Many legal issues and feelings of isolation can complicate matters for those who need help.