How and Why You Should Use Your Arts Pass


Langley Hayman

Eva Merrill in the musical “Nine” at the University of Utah on April 24, 2022. (Photo by Langley Hayman | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Luke Jackson


I hope I’m not the person to break this news to you for the first time, but either way, buckle up. Here it comes — being a university student is bonkers expensive. Here we are, thrown into the real world for the first time. We start paying rent and taxes on top of needing to buy our own food. On top of all that garbage, tuition costs just a few pennies short of a trillion dollars. This absolutely wild scenario requires action from us, the student body. Is it time to arise en masse and take down the broken and overpriced education system? No, of course not. Rather, it is time to learn how to take the most advantage of what University of Utah students get for free. Buckle up again, because I’m about to blow your mind with the “Arts Pass.”

What is it?

The Arts Pass is a program provided by the U which allows its students free, or mostly free, access to all sorts of art content both on and off-campus. Plays, screenings, ballets, musicals, art installations — you want it, you got it. All because you are a U student, you get access to everything you need to enrich your life with the arts.

Your Arts Pass provides you free access to all department of art & art history exhibitions and guest lectures, all film & media arts screenings and events, all department of theatre productions and discounts on all Pioneer Theatre Company productions. For the most part, any arts event you hear about on campus most likely will have a free or discounted option for students with Arts Pass.

How Do I Use it?

Now, this much free access must seem daunting. Surely, there are innumerable hoops to jump if you want to take a bite of this juicy deal. This could not be further from the truth. There are positively no hoops in sight. Your Arts Pass is attached directly to your UCard. Just hand your UCard to whoever is handing out the tickets and you’re good to go. Better yet, you can usually use your UCard to purchase tickets in advance. When purchasing tickets online, be sure to check for the Arts Pass option when it comes to payment. You’ll need to enter your uID, then boom, free tickets.

An Arts Pass can be used as many times as you want throughout your time as a U student, and there is no limit to the number of events you can attend.

Why Should I Care?

Odds are you’re now convinced to get out there and consume the arts. If you’re not feeling this excitement and need an extra push, I’ll certainly give you one.

The arts events put on by the U are genuinely beautiful. Each time I’ve attended, I’ve been impressed with the sheer production value of these events. At times the performances themselves can be hit or miss, but I’ve never once regretted attending. The passion emanating from the individuals performing is intoxicating. It creates a sense of community and truly makes you feel a part of the U family.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t highlight the buildings that the Arts Pass provides access to. The Gittins Gallery, Kingsbury Hall and Pioneer Theatre are world-class establishments that bring you right into the art. They provide perfect settings and incredible ambiance for their respective events.

The positive impacts the arts can have on your life, both as a student and as an individual, are innumerable. They provide inspiration, escape and a greater appreciation for humanity. A night at the opera, the theatre or the ballet cleanses our palette and recharges our minds. There is simply no reason not to take advantage of the marvelous opportunities the Arts Pass provides.

If you want to stick it to the man and get into stuff for free, if you want to make the absolute most of your university experience or if you simply want to take in the fresh air the arts provide, then the Arts Pass is for you.

More information can be found on the Arts Pass website. You can also follow the Arts Pass Instagram where you’ll get up-to-date information on how best to take advantage of this spectacular resource.


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