Fall 2020 Arts at the U


Gwen Christopherson’s UID, which functions as an ArtsPass, at the U. Chronicle archives.

By Paige Lee, Arts Writer


With everything feeling so uncertain lately, it can be difficult to look ahead to fun campus events in the fall. However, the University of Utah is set to be buzzing with many art events this coming fall — all you have to do is pay close attention to campus calendar and department announcements.

One of the first arts-centered events taking place on campus is the Arts Bash. The Arts Bash is scheduled to take place at the Marriott Library Plaza on Sept. 2. There will be a plethora of swag, games and additional information for the art events coming up this year. The Arts Bash will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. While the Arts Bash is still a ways away, it feels appropriate to give a list of the other exciting events taking place this semester.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Although in-person exhibitions are closed for the time being, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts has several upcoming interactive events to look out for. On Aug. 12, the UMFA will be holding an online class named Manifest Destiny: The Effect of Our Sea to Shining Sea Expansion on Our Neighbor to the South, teaching Mexican history. This class takes a deeper look into how the colonization ideology of manifest destiny impacted cultures across the land.

Following the Manifest Destiny course, there is a class online titled Third Saturday Online: Decorated Boxes. This class has been created by the UMFA to celebrate Pacific Island Heritage Month and will take place on Aug. 15. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Spiral Jetty, the UMFA is holding a celebration on Oct. 3, for friends and family to “create art, learn about the science of the lake, and explore the landscape.”

The Pioneer Theatre Company

The Pioneer Theatre Company will be hosting a shortened season beginning winter of 2021. Although there are no in-person shows currently listed for the fall semester, the PTC has been posting a series called “The Show Goes On…Line!” In this series,  classic online performances have been posted for viewers to enjoy, as well as several performances by frequent PTC actors. The PTC has done a marvelous job here of keeping its supporters updated and involved.

Additional information about the 2021 in-person season can be found on the PTC website.


UtahPresents has a full schedule of events for the fall semester. Despite some of these events being sold out, many are still open to attend.

On Sept. 10, Nadya Tolokonnikova — a Russian activist and musician — will be giving a lecture on radical protest. This lecture will be held in the David P. Gardner Hall at 7:00 p.m., tickets are free, but required. On Sept. 19, a virtual TEDTalk is scheduled titled “(Un)Conventional Wisdom: TedxSaltLakeCity.” More details for this event will be released at a later, unspecified date.

Another in-person event scheduled is for Oct. 2, titled, “Masters of the Currents.” It is a theatrical journey detailing the story of three Micronesian youth who had to flee their homes due to the negative environmental and economic changes taking place. Beginning on Nov. 20, a multimedia dance production on the environment and sustainability titled, “Between Underground and Skyworld” will be performed. With ideas being brought to light about our own future as a planet, “Between Underground and Skyworld” is bound to be an insightful production.

Finishing out the fall semester, there are two exciting shows to plan for in December. The first show is scheduled for Dec. 5, titled “The Second City — Legendary Laughs.” For fans of improv and comedy, this show is sure to be a memorable one. Lastly, beginning Dec. 9, Lower Lights Christmas Concerts will be playing, it’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season.

University of Utah Theatre Department

The University of Utah’s Theatre Department has several shows planned for the fall semester. The theatre department has “Shrek the Musical” set to run at Babcock Theatre from Sept. 19 through Sept. 27 — the musical follows the popular tale of the DreamWorks animation “Shrek.”

“The Night Witches,” a tale of female Russian bomber pilots who played a part in World War II, is scheduled for performances from Oct. 23 to Nov. 1. This play teaches a captivating piece of history that is not focused on nearly enough. Lastly, “J.B.” is set to run in Babcock Theatre from Nov. 13 through Nov. 22. “J.B.” is a twist on the biblical story of Job, but set in modern times.

Although the theatre department does not have any other performances scheduled during the fall semester, there are more performances scheduled during the spring semester this coming year.


Life on campus this fall is bound to be different than anything we have ever seen before. But no matter what comes our way, it is important to find time for safe fun. Art is more than culturally enriching, art is expressive, exciting and fun. More importantly, art won’t be losing its place on campus this semester despite all of the roadblocks ahead. With that in mind, keeping the U’s art events on our calendars for the year might be a good way to destress as we continue moving forward.


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