Watch an update from executive director Brooke Horejsi, or scroll down to read the message.
Remember what experiencing live performance, in the moment, gathered with others, felt like? I do and I miss it. I miss the anticipation, I miss the moments of shared laughter, awe, tears, discomfort, stunned inspiration. I miss losing myself in the show, while knowing that you are all there, with me. The unique together-alone of live performance.
We haven’t been together-alone for months now. Longer than I think any of us originally anticipated. Certainly, longer than any of us would like. Yet, we have been together, despite the first COVID disruption back in March. We came together to postpone and reschedule. Then the creative community came together, despite the limitations of quarantine, to share their talents, culture, and ideas with audiences on line. Then, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the many before them, demanded we come together, despite the pandemic. To speak and to act against racism. To stand in solidarity with communities of color, to shout BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Last week, we came together for our first virtual fundraiser, despite the continued uncertainty. We gathered virtually to look to the future, to evolve how we serve our community and support artists and to declare that free does not feed. Art, artists, and art organizations have worth.
As the launch of our 20/21 season is just around the corner, we’ll come together, despite the challenges. We may not be able to gather, shoulder to shoulder, like we did before, but UtahPresents is still here, and we are still passionate about the role that creativity plays in making our lives vibrant and valuable, especially during a pandemic. We are still here, figuring out how to create these connections, how to bring all of us together, despite our darkened theaters.
I’m excited to share with you the plans for how we’ll be together – particularly because for some, the virtual space will open up possibility for participation and engagement, in a way that physical gathering sometimes can’t.
Now, no matter where you are, or whether or not you’ve showered that day, you can join us to meet the Russian activist, member of feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot, author, and protest artist Nadya Tolokonnikova! You can see her up close, from the best seat in your house.
The conversation between Nadya and KRCL’s Lara Jones, host of RadioActive, is now happening on October 15th at 7pm. All you have to do is register for a free ticket to get the details. If you want an even more unique experience, and to support UtahPresents’ work to connect the changemakers of the future, our students, with artists like Nadya, donate to gain access to our first ever Virtual Book Club. Then, grab your copy of Read and Riot and join us on October 8th for a more intimate chat with Nadya and others about the book.
Or, maybe in years past you haven’t acted quickly enough to nab a ticket to the sell out TEDxSaltLakeCity? Now, because we’ll be together virtually, we’ll have enough spots for everyone! Join us on September 19th from the back porch, or the kitchen island, or your favorite chair to hear “ideas worth spreading” about (Un)conventional Wisdom from local speakers and performers.
Maybe you were going to be out of town in November when UtahPresents is welcoming Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations to our community? No matter now – you can join us for their cutting edge performance piece Between Underground and Skyworld from anywhere. Created by the next generation of indigenous superheroes, BTW US Cyberspace creates an exciting new vision for what online performance can be. Now reimagined as an interactive mini-series of dynamic episodes, the story will culminate in a live, virtual performance followed by an interactive Reflection Pool with the dancers on November 20.
If you are wondering about other shows, particularly the ones that despite best efforts, just really need that in person togetherness, check your email in box, or our website, or social media posts for updates. We’ll be working on everything and keep you in the know as we figure it out.
We are all anxious to be together-alone in the theater with one another again, and we know that artists will keep exploring complex issues, imagining different perspectives, and inspiring awe. And UtahPresents will continue to be at the leading edge of curating and connecting you with that work.
We’ll be together, despite it all.