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Utah Arts Festival: The Official Kick-Off of Summer In Salt Lake

Friday June 21, 2013

Fine Art Photography by Dick Cunningham

The Utah Arts Festival kicked off summer with a bang on Thursday June 20,
and runs through this Sunday, June 23. 

The mission of the Utah Arts Festival "is to promote the arts and enhance the quality of life in Utah through the production of an annual outdoor, multi-disciplinary event in downtown Salt Lake City." This annual festival takes place the 4th weekend of June every summer, and can be found in the area of Library Square (the plaza in between The Leonardo museum and the main Salt Lake City downtown library) and the shaded lawn of the Salt Lake City and County Building


Watch live artists at work

Besides hundreds of vendors and children's activities, here is what you can expect to find at the Festival this year:

BandaloopA California-based new dance craze, Bandaloop is the art of defying gravity by dancing vertically alongside a building while suspended from climbing ropes. You can see Bandaloop performances at Library Square, 6pm and 8pm during the Festival.

Musician Bob Culbertson plays for a crowd

Live Music: Besides the main Festival Stage, there are smaller stages placed around the Festival. You can also find independent artists playing music at their booths. Make sure to take your time and stop for a minute to enjoy the sites and sounds. Go to the Utah Arts Festival website to view the schedule for music headlinerslocal artistscomposer commissions and more.

Artists at work: Even though many vendors and artists bring complete work for display and sale, you can also watch artists at work creating and doing what they do best.  

Films: This year's film theme is "Fear No Film". Seven groups of short films asks you "Where did this film come from emotionally, and how does that change my experience viewing it?" Located in The City Library Auditorium, you can find the Film Guide on the Utah Arts Festival website. Because all of the films contain adult content, they have added a Fear No Film KIDS! to the Art Yard for the younger film critics. 

Food, food and more food!: Located in the middle of the Festival is Food Lane. Here you will find a wide variety of local food for all different tastes. Many food vendors even allow sampling of their different foods before purchasing.  

FREE Water and Sunscreen available: If you find yourself too hot, there is no need to leave the festival. Located the First Aid Tent and pick up some free cold water and sunscreen.  

Mailbox Diaries


Many different ways to experience and be a part of the Festival:

- Mailbox Diaries: Perhaps the most touching exhibit at the Festival this year is the Mailbox Diaries display and interactive exhibit. Located in the roundabout garden on the East side of the City & County Building, stand two mailboxes labeled "Grief" and "Love". Pick a mailbox, reach inside, and find the diary. Grab a pen and write anonymous thoughts for others. This is a place to "share deeply and honestly about some of the times that life topples you." Here you are invited to "write your heart out". 

- "Before I Die" Bucket List: Add your "before I die" wishes to the growing "bucket list" on the lawn of the City & County Building. "Bucket lists" are becoming more and more popular, and are a way for people to make a list of things they want to do before they die.

- Instagram Gallery: Add your pictures to the Utah Arts Festival Instagram Gallery by using #artfansunite. 

Visit the Utah Arts Festival website for complete details, schedule and more!