Utah Arts Festival

By Barb Guy

Go to your calendar tight now. Clear the decks for June 26-29. write in "UAF." You will be spending at least part of your days and all of your evenings at what looks like one of he most interesting arts festivals Salt Lake has ever conjured up. Save gas. Be transported by music, dance and amazing visuals. You are the vehicle.

By Barb Guy and Melissa Bond


Earth Harps by MASS Ensemble


Earth Harps are enormous musical instruments strung to buildings. Performers run their fingertips along the strings wearing rosin-covered cotton gloves to generate a vibration that literally pushes the music through the molecules of the string, creating beautiful cello-like tones.


For the Arts Festival, MASS Ensemble will make the Main Library at Library Square into two giant Earth Harps. Both harps will use the library’s wall as an anchor point with the largest attaching to the Amphitheater Stage using more than a half-mile of brass musical wire. This Earth Harp will serve as an installation piece throughout the Festival, and on Sunday night, the audience will sit underneath the harp as it is played from the stage and feel the movement and vibration of the instrument throughout the performance.


A second harp will string west down to The Round, and will be played in daily interactive performances with the public and nightly jam sessions-bring your instruments!


Earth Harps have transformed many architectural sites into musical experiences, including the Seattle Space Needle and the Kennedy Center. Don’t miss this Salt Lake happening!


Earth Harp Jam Sessions: Nightly 8-8:45pm at the Round with Bill Close, artistic director.


Earth Harp Performance: Sunday, 9:30-11pm at the Amphitheater Stage.




Yoga Workshop with Andrea Brook: Sunday, 9:30-11am,Amphitheater Stage area (advance registration required; see uaf.org).



Help to create a collage with Jann Haworth


Collagist Jann Haworth’s most well-known work is the album cover for the Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band."She also created a mural on that theme in downtown Salt Lake City. Haworth’s contemporary work has been exhibited around the world, in dozens of Europe’s finest museums. Her exhibit "Pop Plastiques" will be shown inside the Main Library ("Nudie" appears is this month’s cover art) during the festival. In a rare opportunity, Jann will conduct a collage workshop based on the conceptual aspects of the friendship quilt, working with the public and several invited artists. See Jann’s work, watch her in action, and dialogue with her in the Special Collections Room, Level 4 of the Main Library.


Jann Haworth in Residency Thursday through Saturday,noon-5pm and Sunday, 1-5pm. Collage Workshop: June 26-29, 1-3pm.





Fare Well and Hell O! – The End of the World As We Know It or Dancing Your Way to Paradise!


Fare Well is a multimedia work that brings insight and vibrant critique to the contemporary issue of end time through movement, music, text, and visual installation (images and visual poems). Fare Well is as extreme as the weather in its moods and absurdities. As fires rage, volcanoes erupt, the Arctic melts, and the seas rise ("Did we do it?") Fare Well draws the audience  in through humor, irony and anti-narratives.


Fare Well & Hell O! will be danced by pioneering Washington, DC, choreographer Maida Withers-known internationally for her innovative choreography, her intensity as a dancer, and her interactions with other dancers and collaborators. The work also includes art video by Ayodamola Okunseinde, poetry and sound by Alex Caldiero and original music by Steve Hilmy.


Fare Well & Hell O: Main Library Auditorium, Saturday, 9:30pm and Sunday, 6:30pm.



Fear No Film


WAR! What better word to rouse a crowd in a political year like this one? In 2008, we are certainly divided, undoubtedly conflicted, and desperately exhausted from our situation… And we’re not even talking about Iraq or Afghanistan… We’re talking about the politics we all share in identity and in being human. Throughout the festival, check out any of many short films in our juried Fear No Film festival.


The films average 20 minutes apiece, so you can drop in and cool off in the library auditorium while getting captivated by these great creative works.


Fear No Film festival, Nancy Tessman auditorium, inside library.




The Word Ecstatic


In partnership with the SLCC Community Writing Center, Salt Lake City’s Youth City Program and the Salt Lake Acting Company, the Utah Arts Festival offers The Word Ecstatic, a variety of opportunities to take workshops, enter a writing competition (see this page), participate in a Poetry Slam or just enjoy readings from local authors and poets. The Big Mouth Stage on the southeast quadrant of the City & County Building grounds will host poets, readings and performances. The SLCC Community Writing Center on the Library Plaza will feature workshops and readings, as well as the starting line for the second annual Wasatch Iron Pen writing competition.



For a complete Utah Arts Festival schedule including national musical headliners, music clips and more, visit uaf.org.o




Get Kamikaze with Your Writing Muse


By Melissa Bond


Interested in getting your literary groove on this summer? The Utah Arts Festival is sponsoring the second annual Wasatch Iron Pen, a 24-hour literary marathon, set to take place right in the middle of the festival. That’s right, 24 hours to shake your groove thing all over the page. For those of you who need a little adrenaline to fuel your writing muse, the Iron Pen gives you from Friday, June 27 at 5 p.m. to Saturday, June 28 at 5p.m. to set fire to that pen. It’s a kamikaze mission not for the faint ofheart. It will require a full sprint of creativity that could leave you drinking cup after cup of existential coffee by the early morning hours.


But this kind of sweat for the muse is nothing new. A quick trip into Google’s shiny realm of all things literary and inventoried turns up innumerable one- to three-day literary marathons. Writer’s Weekly, an online freelance writing e-zine and Voices, a non profit organization of writers, have hosted literary marathons for years and participants sweat over everything from poetry to short stories to novels. In Utah itself, the Helper Arts Festival has, in years past, held a literary ultra marathon that encouraged writers of all genres to face off in a 24-hour battle of verbal brawn.


The marathon typically starts with a visual cue of some sort. Last year, the Wasatch Iron pen hustled all the hungry writers and poets into one room and showed them a honeycomb filled with honey. The idea is to work the cue into the written work in a way that’s significant-thematic, even. This prevents previously fawned-over work from making its way into the submission pile. This year, writers will receive the cue at exactly 5 p.m. on June 27. The clock starts ticking at that point.


Garrett Alberico, a winner in last year’s poetry category, says that the 24 hours wasn’t too daunting. "It was cool to narrow the focus," he says. "And it gave me more incentive to write because of the time limit." So, if incentive is what you’re looking for,or just a good jolt of muse, check out the Wasatch Iron Pen. It’s just 24 hours,after all.


Writers of all genres and experience levels can register for the marathon beginning June 12, in person or by phone at the SLCC Community Writing Center (located at Library Square; tel. 957-4992).  Or register online at www.uaf.org.Registration fee: is $10. Six categories: Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction (Adult and Youth). Winners will be contacted Sunday, June 29, and are encouraged to read selections from their piece that afternoon at the Big Mouth Café tent. For more information, call 957-4992 or visit www.slcc.edu/cwc.



This article was originally published on June 1, 2008.