100,000 Attendances at Art Performances–and Counting


Mike Sheehan

The U graduate string quartet performs in front of Lionel Walden’s “Steelworks, Cardiff, at Night” 1895-97, at Pastures Green & Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Mike Sheehan, Daily Utah Chronicle.

100,000 tickets. 100,000 students attending.

Utah prizes arts, as Daily Utah Chronicle reporter Madge Slack found in a recent article.  Clearly, that extends to the University of Utah as well; according to the University’s College of Fine Arts, they recently issued their 100,000th Arts Pass ticket.

“The arts at the University of Utah are as plentiful as they are impactful,” said University of Utah President David Pershing in a press release. “If athletics feed our competitive nature and academics feed our intellect, the arts feed our desire to see the world more broadly. We are so pleased to see students using these opportunities to become global citizens through the diverse lenses and voices the arts bring to our campus.”

At five years old, the U’s unique Arts Pass Program’s success is worth noting. The Program began in the 2011/2012 academic year, as an effort to help students engage in the many arts opportunities provided at the U, without having to bear the financial burden that often comes with art attendance. Since 2011, every U student with a U ID has been given access to Arts Pass tickets to a variety of performances including screenings, performances, concerts and exhibitions by students and faculty without paying a dime, as well as similarly free, or discounted access, to UtahPresents, Pioneer Theatre Company and the Utah Museum of Fine Art.

While other universities have programs like this one, according to the press release, none are as successful and extensive in events covered by the program.

“We are weaving the effort to provide abundant and diverse creative experiences for students into the very fabric of the University,” said Raymond Tymas-Jones, associate vice president for the arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts, in that press release. “These experiences are sating a curiosity in our students that is leading to new interdisciplinary explorations, new knowledge, a greater collective empathy, heightened social tolerance and more community building.”

Those 100,000 tickets represent wanderings through the Utah Museum of Fine Art, experiences both comedic and dramatic by the Department of Theatre, lectures by prominent scholars and artists among others, art galleries by professional as well as amateur, and music performances, just to name a few.

To celebrate this significant milestone, which was reached before Dec. 31 and thus already passed on the way to a new milestone, the College of Fine Arts is holding a contest on Instagram which all students can participate in. The competition began Monday, Feb. 13 and will end Friday, Feb. 17, with potential awards including an iPad mini, Beats headphones and a Pencil by Fiftythree. All students have to do is repost any of the uofufinearts’ Instagram page’s #artspass100K images and explain why you love Arts Pass.

Check out the College’s Instagram for details at uofufinearts, or read more on their blog here.