Briefly Noted

Briefly Noted: November 2016

By Staff

What’s new around town.

Utah’s first art therapy studio opens in Millcreek

While adult coloring books and “wine and paint nights” are trending, one of three Utah board-certified art therapists say they are “poor substitutions for the power of art therapy as led by a certified art therapist.”

Early on in her career, Morrell realized the vast gap between the variety of people who were interested in the benefits of art therapy and the small handful of the population—typically those in psychiatric inpatient hospital settings —who could actually experience the services that she and her colleagues had to offer. It became her mission to open up that opportunity for healing and growth to more people, and thus the Therapy Studio was born.

Last month the Therapy Studio opened, a delightfully decorated and warm cottage in Millcreek. With nearly 15 years of experience under her belt as an art therapist, Morrell finally realized her dream of bringing art therapy to Utahns with everyday stressors and issues —people experiencing grief and loss, divorce, parenting, major illness and daily anxiety. This is the first studio of its kind in Utah, and a pioneer of this type of facility in the country.

The Therapy Studio is mostly booked by appointment, however Morrell recommends staying in touch via Facebook and their website for when they begin offering drop-in community classes, which will eventually expand to include music therapy, dance/ movement therapy, trauma-informed yoga, sandtray therapy and EMDR. — SS

The Therapy Studio, 1515 S. 3300 E.  TheTherapy.Studio,


Facts & fiction: DEQ PSAs have both

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), charged with implementing state and federal environmental laws to protect Utah’s land, air and water since 1991, recently released public service announcements online and on TV, featuring a mal-informed fellow named Phil and a well-informed DEQ scientist answering questions regarding Utah’s air and water. Kinda goofy… but informative.

Tweet your enviro questions to the DEQ with #AskDEQnotPhil. Both the DEQ and Phil will answer, in a comical banter between fact (DEQ) and fiction (Phil).

A different kind of “field of dreams”

Habitat For Humanity builds affordable homes for families in need, and is now making these homes even more affordable by making them energy efficient.

A baseball diamond in Kearns will be replaced with 20 “passive homes,” which means they consume very little energy, to cost around just $1.50/day for energy.

For more information, see the article by Isaac Riddle, of Building Salt Lake:

Utah calendar

Who hasn’t given or received a calendar for Christmas or Hanuk­kah? Be honest. And it went up on the wall and got used, didn’t it? We  love useful gifts.

The Utah Geological Survey has already released its 2017 calendar (11th edition). “We publish [it] as a fun way to showcase cool photos taken by our geologists when working in the field,” says Vicky Clarke, UGS publications manager. This year’s final selection of images came from 232 submitted photos.

The 2017 Calendar of Utah Geology is $5 ($4.25 for orders of 10 or more), and is available at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, 1594 West North Temple. 801. 537.3320 or at

 Art in Venice

The CATALYST staff is small and creative. We all have our passion projects and varied talents outside of the work we do for this magazine and we couldn’t resist the urge, this month, to brag a bit about our new sales and marketing rep Elizabeth Barbano. Liz is a fabulous printmaker. She recently spent two weeks in Venice, Italy as an artist in residency at the Sculoa Internazionale Di Grafica where she had full access to the school’s studios while being housed in the heart of that amazing floating city. We look forward to seeing the fruits of her work there. Congratulations.

 New org for human and enviro rights

In Utah, Pando is most famously known as the aspen clone believed to be the largest living organism on Earth. Now that organism shares its name with an activist organization, PANDOS, that has no apparent connection to trees. Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue & Organizing Support (PANDOS) is a new voice for human and environmental rights.

Their inaugural meeting last month at the downtown library was a call to action in support of Standing Rock, the Sioux tribe opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Efforts continue in early November.

Utah orgs in Good Food Guide

For the last two years, the James Beard Foundation (New York City) and Food Tank (Washington D.C.) have compiled a list of 1,000 food-related organizations across the country whose work addresses issues of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. Called the Good Food Org Guide, this list is intended as a resource for people to find what’s happening around them and how to get involved or support local good food and agriculture initiatives.

This year, 10 Utah organizations and businesses are listed: CSA Utah, The Green Urban Lunchbox, New Roots Salt Lake City, Summit Community Gardens, Utah Farmers Union, Artists for Local Agriculture, Backyard Urban Garden Farms, Utahns Against Hunger, Wasatch Community Gardens and Youth Garden Project.

You can download the guide or find organizations through the website by clicking on info boxes on an interactive Google map. Each organization has a brief write-up, contact information and links to organization websites.

Like the bike?

Like what Bike Utah is doing? Consider supporting the non-profit’s noble goal of increasing bicycle ridership in Utah by becoming a member.

Besides that warm fuzzy feeling, member benefits include discounts from participating bike shops. Join before year’s end and  receive an opportunity to win a Specialized Vita Elite carbon bike. —KP

Memberships begin at $30 ($10/students).

Bike to school

As recent as 1966, nearly 45% of students walked or rode a bicycle to school and only about 15% caught a ride in a family vehicle, said Phil Sarnoff, executive director of Bike Utah. Today, those numbers are almost the exact opposite. Sarnoff is on a mission to turn back time by getting kids back on bikes.

Bike Utah has a new program called Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training (Youth BEST). Bike Utah arrives at participating schools with bikes and helmets to teach a five-hour course that covers everything important: the benefits of riding a bicycle, rules of the road, how to adjust and wear a helmet, navigating intersections, avoiding hazards, and how to make sure a bike is in safe working order. The program can happen all in one day or stretch out over a week. And at the end, students and parents can make a pledge to increase their trips to school by bike. The program is offered at no cost to schools throughout Utah. —KP

Want to get your school started? Contact Phil Sarnoff, Bike Utah executive director,  801.440.3729,


Stamp commemorates Hindu holiday

Last month the United States Post Office issued a new Forever stamp in honor of the Hindu holiday Diwali, a celebration of the triumph of good over evil that spans five days each autumn. This year Diwali began on the eve of October 30. Some consider Diwali the start of the New Year.

The Postal Service receives approximately 40,000 suggestions for stamp ideas annually from the public, which are then reviewed by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. Only about 25 topic suggestions for commemorative stamps are selected, even fewer earn final approval.

The new Diwali stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional clay diya oil lamp. These lamps, which burn clarified butter known as “ghee” or vegetable oils, are symbols of hope for wealth and prosperity from the goddess Lakshmi.

Think Clean Air

By the time you read this, our community may have a few more good ideas on how to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front.

The $45K Utah Clean Air Innovation Contest, ending November 2, called on innovators, inventors, engineers and any creative person to enter an original invention that could have a measurable and immediate impact on our air quality.

It could be a new app, it could be a green technology or an improvement on fuel efficiency. The top three winners will take home the satisfaction of making this a better place to live—and some big prize money.

Finalist presentations and awards will happen mid-November. Stay tuned next month to learn about the winning ideas.-KP

Help “Stuff A Tummy”

Utah Community Action is a multi-faceted agency that helps low-income individuals and families overcome obstacles towards self-efficiency. Their annual Thanksgiving program titled “Stuff A Tummy” provides Utah families with resources for experiencing a traditional and worry-free  Thanksgiving dinner. Last year the program managed to provide Thanksgiving dinners for 151 families.

For those wishing to contribute to this satisfying cause, there are a few options. The most wholesome of these is the “Adopt a Family” option where, for a $75 contribution you can provide a Thanksgiving feast for a family of about six people. Cash donations of any amount are also welcome.

Utah Community Action also welcomes non-perishable food donations. Canned goods such as vegetables, soups, rice packets, and canned sardines are accepted. Turkey certificates are recommended as well. They can be purchased online or at  a local grocery store. Non-food items such as tin roasting pans for turkeys, and personal hygiene products like toothpaste and soap are also encouraged. UCA will be accepting food donations until November 21. —JB

Utah Community Action, 1307 South 900 West-SLC,UT 84104. People wishing  to send cash donations for Thanksgiving dinners must do so prior to November 18. or 801-410-5735.

Clever Octopus

Clever Octopus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creativity and environmental awareness, is opening a “creative reuse center” in downtown Sugar House.

The specific location, to be announced soon,  will include a resale warehouse for reclaimed materials and industrial off-cuts as well as a creative space for community members to create with these materials in an environment that promotes crea­tivity.

Clever Octopus accepts donations, and they want your abandoned treasures!  Desirable items include tools and construction equipment, magazines, old non- and working technology, art and crafting supplies, fabric, paper and office supplies.

Clever Octopus is led by executive director Sheri Gibb and founder and program director Jen Lopez. They host classes throughout the Salt Lake Valley and beyond, visiting schools, adult care facilities, residential treatment centers, community outreach programs, festivals and private events. Their mobile outreach vehicle, The Octopod, is a fully equipped mobile classroom stocked with materials and staffed by Clever Octopus’ artists.—CHH

Mundi Project “rehomes” pianos

In 2005, pianist Jana Hanatova  went through a personal life changing experience that inspired her to want to give back to the community. “Music heals, motivates, breaks down language barriers, and allows us to express our emotions about the joys and struggles of life,” says Hanatova, “Being a professional piano educator my entire adult life, founding an organization related to piano and the arts seemed like the most natural fit.”

With the help of three friends, she founded Mundi Project. The nonprofit organization accepts pianos from generous donors and give them a new home “where they will be loved and used for the purpose of education and live performance,” Hanatova explains.

“By placing pianos in the public venues, other music and art organizations, musicians, and artist[s] can use the instrument in their programing.”

The Mundi Project focuses on creating educational opportunities for underserved communities and provides “support to low-income and minority families that seek a life filled with piano, music and the arts.”

In 2006, they served 78 people. This year they are reaching more than 16,000 individuals in Utah and have already “rehomed” 153 pianos. They are currently working on Public Space Placements, Harmony Hub (a piano/ music classroom). For 2017, Mundi will sponsor nationally renowned composer, pianist and educator Wynn-Anne Rossi for a music education residency and the concert pianist Tien Hsieh for a one-week Mundi Live artist residency.

On November 9, the Mundi Project celebrates its 10th anniversary with music performances, stories and food at the Marmalade Library.

You can also join Mundi Project and the Visual Art Institute November 5 for a “music and artscape experience.” Led by VAI faculty, the music will provide a “driving force as participants create visual collaborations to live music performance.”


Saturday, Nov. 5—Mundi Project/Visual Art Institute collaboration at the Visual Art Institute, 2901 S. Highland Dr. 3-5:30pm. Nov. 9—10th anniversary celebration: Marmalade Library, 280 W. 500 North, 6:30pm. No charge for either event.

Benvenuto a Veneto

One of the strangest things to come out of American restaurants is the practice of paying waiters below minimum wage salaries and expecting that diners will find it in their benevolent hearts to tip—and tip well. Such a thing just doesn’t happen in other countries. It also doesn’t happen at Veneto, one of Salt Lake’s newest restaurants.

Instead, restaurant owners Amy and Marco Stevanoni follow the Italian tradition—Marco is from Verona in northeastern Italy—of paying their hosts, servers and chefs “the professional salaries they deserve.” A nominal service fee added to the bill.

Despite repeated insistence that tipping is not necessary, it seems that many well-intentioned diners have found it difficult to break the habit. Paying that kindness forward, Veneto’s staff and owners have decided to donate all tips to the Cancierge Foundation, a cancer patient wellness group.—KP

Veneto is located at 370 E 900 S (in the building that recently housed Forage).

What’s Up with Amy

Amy Brunvand, CATALYST environmental writer, is taking a research leave from her usual day job as an academic librarian in order to work at the University of Utah Sustainability Office which coordinates sustainability education, research and initiatives at the University. Amy is busy compiling the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System Report (STARS) which enables colleges and universities to measure their progress towards sustainability goals and to identify areas that need more work.

She will also be doing various librarianish things to help students and researchers find and preserve sustainability information.

Don’t worry, though. She will keep on writing EnviroNews—and more feature stories!—for CATALYST.

Also, for your recreational reading enjoyment, here is a poem Amy wrote which was recently published in New Verse News:

Snail Awards 2016

Attendees at Utah Slow Food’s annual Feast of Five Senses, celebrated last month, cheered and raised a toast to the fine work of a special few in our food-loving community.

Well deserved and long overdue, the Snail Award for Farmer/Producer went to Rich and Julie Clifford of Clifford Family Farms. These hard-working grandparents provide Utah homes and restaurants with eggs, vegetables, meat and honey.

Brooke Woffinden was honored with the Chef’s Award for her business Urban Pioneer Foods, a prepared meals and catering service. Brooke has been in the Salt Lake food world for over 25 years, learning her trade at some of the most beloved food institutions, Carlucci’s Bakery, Avenues Bakery and Cali’s among them.

Urban Pioneer Foods sources ingredients from locally owned markets and local farmers and artisan food producers (like Laziz humus) to make her food-from-scratch meals the best they can be. Roasted cauliflower with cashew beet cream, anyone? Or tequila laquered organic chicken smothered in red mole with arroz rojo? Just call Brooke.

Forty years ago, the husband and wife team Sally Sears and Randy Wirth started Caffe Ibis Coffee Roasting Co. in perhaps the most unlikely of places, the coffee-abstaining Mormon strong­­­hold of Logan, Utah. From their shop Wirth and Sears distributed perfectly roasted beans around northern Utah, saving their caffeine-imbibing brethren from a dark and terrible caffeine-free existence.

Caffe Ibis remains deeply committed to their local audience. This year Sally Sears accepted the Snail Award for Local Business. We all wish Randy could have been there with her—Randy Wirth was taken from us too soon, in 2014, by a drunk driver.

For the last 15 years, Gina Cornia has used her position as the executive director of Utahns Against Hunger to work for many causes, most of them addressing  issues of hunger and poverty. But it is her work with food stamps that earned Cornia this year’s Community Leader Award. The new program, Double Up Food Bucks, benefits people using food stamps at farmer’s markets. Now for every token spent on locally produced fresh fruits, veggies, meats and dairy, participating markets will match spending with another free token up to $10.

Congratulations to the 2016 Snail Award winners and thanks for the work you do.—KP

This article was originally published on November 1, 2016.