Arts and Culture

Acclaimed Harpsichordist Finds Inspiration In Hip Hop

Dec 8, 2015

Mahan Esfahani is a decorated, classically trained musician, but he prides himself on having an interest in performing classical music in a contemporary way.

“Music lives when we relate it to our own lives and we relate it to events around us, as Bach and Handel and others did,” Mahani said.

In addition to his traditional influences, he also cites modern artists as sources for inspiration, some of whom are widely considered to be opposites of classical music.

Documentary About Artist With Autism Screens In Logan

Nov 20, 2015

Their friendship formed through a mutual passion for visual art over a decade ago, but Ben Stamper and Justin Canha inadvertently became collaborators on a film about Justin’s dream to live on his own, and the process of overcoming obstacles associated with Autism.

“I know how to do laundry.  I did a great job cleaning up.  And I know how to get rid of garbage and recycling,” Canha said.

Justin is a talented artist and art educator, with a particular interest in drawing postage stamp sized portraits of cartoon characters and animals.

A play entitled "Good Kids" made its Utah premier at the University of Utah’s Studio 115 last week.  The production was inspired by the nationally controversial sexual assault of a teenage girl by varsity football players in Steubenville, Ohio.

The play was written by Naomi Lizuka, and is directed by Julie Rada.

“1 in 5 women on college campuses is sexually assaulted or raped so that is certainly very relevant and topical.” Rada said.

Logan River To Have Art Installation

Oct 28, 2015
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Mark Lee Koven, artist and professor at Utah State is currently working on an interactive art installation in the Logan river, focusing on the caddisfly; an insect whose presence is deeply connected to a river’s health. The project is set to open in late Spring of 2016.


In the lapping swirls of the Logan river, an art installation is set to finish next spring.


Eastern Utah Photographer Finds Beauty Among the Fossils

Oct 26, 2015
Randy Fullbright

Randy Fullbright has lived all around the world, but moved to Vernal, Utah in 1998 to open Fullbright Studios. The current site of Fullbright Studios is an old gas station that was converted into an art gallery, specializing in works inspired by the breathtaking natural beauty of the western landscape. Mr. Fullbright has made a name for himself as a landscape photographer, specifically a photographer of the vistas that surround Dinosaur National Monument.

USU Caine School of the Arts


Organized in 2010 under the direction of Utah State University Caine School of the Arts Dean, Craig Jessop, the Scotsman Pipe and Drum Corps rehearses in a parking lot.

That parking lot happens to be shared by the Utah Public Radio staff.  Each Wednesday at 6 p.m. we have access to a parking lot concert that is second to none.  The twills from the tasseled bags filled with air are a perfect complement to the cloud covered “highlands” of Cache Valley.

Utah Museum Exhibits Art Of Award-Winning Painter

Oct 13, 2015

Every two years, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) awards an artist with the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting.  The prize includes $15,000  and an exhibition at UMOCA.

Earlier in October in Escalante, on the edge of the Grand Staircase, the weather was beautiful, but 150 people chose to sit in a darkened auditorium to watch slides of Utah rock art.


It’s called the Utah Rock Art Research Association, the biggest and oldest such group, and it’s president, Richard Jenkinson, was one of the presenters at the once a year event.


Weston Lee Allen

It has become a tradition for the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra to center their Family Pops Concert on a theme.

Rita Moreno To Visit USU

Oct 5, 2015

  Actress Rita Moreno has won an Academy Award, a Tony, multiple Emmys, and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. Many adults remember watching her on the children’s program Electric Company.  


"When my mother put me into kindergarten there wasn't a single Hispanic child  in that class, and of course I didn't speak a word of English, so it was a very difficult couple of years...So I grew up thinking that I had very little value," she said. 

Boyd Bringhurst

The world premiere of an independent movie about a Utah father who faced tragedy and learned to forgive included a panel discussion about the power of forgiving.  Religious leaders, psychologist, and families attended Monday evening’s Night of Forgiveness.                                                                                                                       

Professional Women Dress Up For Comic Con

Sep 29, 2015
Stephanie Stowell

Salt Lake City’s Comic Con event set a new Guinness World record Friday for the largest gathering of people dressed as comic book characters and three of those who participated are professional businesswomen Stephanie Stowell, an entrepreneur in Logan, Ally Bailey and Rachel Hamm who are business managers at Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts.

Murray Man Becomes Balloonist After Fifty

Aug 27, 2015
Josh Lewis

People gathered in Eden, Utah recently to enjoy music, art, and the main attraction, hot air balloons.

“I like seeing when the balloons go off and when they light up," said Rebecca Spinelli - an attendee at the Ogden Valley Balloon & Artist Festival. "​It makes me feel really cool. I want to ride in one but it’s kind of scary.”

Ballroom In Utah Dances To Its Own Rhythm

Jul 28, 2015
Melissa Allison

Utah’s youth have drawn attention over the years in reality shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “Dancing with the Stars.” They have shown up each season and demonstrated to millions of viewers that when it comes to dance, Utahns don’t mess around.

Moab Rotary Club Has Car Show To Fund Scholarships

Apr 23, 2015
Moab Rotary Club

The Moab Rotary Club is kicking off their 23rd annual April Action Car Show Friday with all of the proceeds going toward scholarships for high school and college students.

“The Rotary Club are looking for deserving students who aren’t getting a lot of scholarships everywhere else," said John Fogg, the director of the Moab Rotary Club. "We give out five $1,000 scholarships”

Fogg said there are more people that show up for the show each year than live in Moab.

Mary Kaye poses for the camera wearing a cowboy hat and hair in a braid.

Last week acclaimed cowboy performer and songwriter Mary Kaye spent the morning doing educational outreach at Canyon Elementary School.

With 10 kids of her own, Kaye knows how to enthrall an audience of fifth graders with a genre of music many had never heard before that morning.

Many wonder, well, so what is Western music? Is it similar to Country?

Colonel Larry Lang conducts the Air Force Concert Band.
U.S. Air Force Band

In ancient times, the assembling of soldiers in military drills was accompanied, at the very least, by a drummer and a fife player. It played a very practical role in the movement of troops, providing a cadence and a beat to march to. These musicians were also responsible for improving the morale of the soldiers. Today, the United States Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants represent the pinnacle of professionalism and musicality as they provide community outreach, and honor our veterans.

Colonel Larry Lang is the current commander and conductor of the United States Air Force Band.

Utah Band Making A Name For Themselves

Feb 23, 2015
The National Parks

Utah has a reputation for being packed with talent, with break-out artists like SHeDAISY, Imagine Dragons and Royal Bliss. Utahns don’t have to set their sights on Hollywood because, according to Isaac Halasima - a native Utahn and well-known music video director for Imagine Dragons hit video, "Gold" - Utah is making a name for itself in an industry known for its competition.

wendi hassan

The Cache Valley Center of the Arts has named a new executive director.  Logan resident Wendi Hassan was selected following a national search and will begin as the new director on March 2.

Tina Murray is Chair of the CVCA's Board.  She served on the committee that selected Hassan.

"She has a long history of being involved in the arts in Cache Valley and the state of Utah," Murray said.  "Those local and statewide connections are going to be very great for the organization."

Hassan will leave her position as community outreach manager for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums in Salt Lake City.  She has worked as an outreach coordinator and director of communications for the CVCA. 

The crowds are getting bigger at Logan diner Herm's Inn. That's good news for the owners, maybe not if you ask the neighbors. Restaurant customers end up parking in front of the neighbor's homes. Student reporter Eliza Welsh went to see if a bulldozer could help both sides get along.

Herm’s Inn on Canyon Road was a gas station until 1948. The now-busy restaurant was opened in 2012 by co-owner Ryan Bird.
“I don’t think that anyone on the city council or not even necessarily ourselves expected that we would be as busy as we can get on the weekend,” Bird said.
While business is good at Herm’s, neighbor Dixie Buist claims that the parking situation is not.

The five resident artists of the Utah Opera are once again on the road. This week they’ve traveled to Duchesne County to introduce kids to the dazzling new world of opera. Mezzo-soprano Abi Levis says that they’ve had an incredible experience so far.

“That sense of wonder you get from an elementary school student when they hear you sing without a microphone for the first time … their little jaws just hit the floor. That sense of wonder is really nourishing for me and for my colleagues as artists. For us it is just exposing them to this. That’s all you need to just light that spark in them for the arts,” says Levis.

As second novels go, this one should prove a doozy. More than five decades after Harper Lee published her first — and, so far, only — novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee's publisher has announced that she plans to release a new one. The book, currently titled Go Set a Watchman, will be published July 14.

Particle Falls: Art Fueled by Scientific Data

Feb 2, 2015
Jennifer Pemberton

On a cold and clear night in Logan there’s a low-hanging crescent moon, Venus is shining bright above the horizon, and on the side of the Caine Performance Hall on the main campus of Utah State University, there’s an animated waterfall of light. This is Particle Falls, a large-scale work of public art created by Andrea Polli. Polli was invited to display Particle Falls as part of ARTsySTEM, a semester long project initiative to integrate Art & Design with the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is taking to the road as it does every spring. It's part of USF's educational outreach to take a production to schools and rural town halls. This year's production is Macbeth, and the tour began in Cedar City.

It's become a tradition. Each year, the Shakespeare on the Road tour begins at the state youth correctional facility in Cedar City. The young men can identify and appreciate the subject matter, despite the Shakespearean style.

Updated at 12:08 p.m. ET

Along with Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London may soon be home to a Smithsonian outpost.

The institution's Board of Regents has authorized museum officials to explore the Smithsonian's first international gallery outpost. Its home: near the site of London's Olympic Park.