Utah Cultural Alliance and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and University of Utah Fine Arts College Join Forces to Increase Student Access to Performing Arts

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 15, 2019) – Utah Cultural Alliance, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, and University of Utah Fine Arts College announced today an initiative aimed at broadening student awareness of and access to the plethora of performing arts opportunities in the state.

The campaign includes the launching of a portal on NowPlayingUtah.com that allows arts organizations to pinpoint and highlight student-access, student-focused professional opportunities, and discounts to performances, exhibits and student passes. The new resource site can be found here: https://www.nowplayingutah.com/student-resources/.

“We are excited to join forces with other cultural entities within Utah that will help draw attention to student opportunities at performing arts institutions,” said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Director of Communications and Digital Media Renée Huang. “We want students to know that we’ve made it easier and more accessible than ever for them to attend a performance without breaking the bank. We are committed to broadening the access and appeal of symphony and opera – and other forms of artistic expression — to younger audiences.”

The goal of the partnership is to increase attendance for Millennial college-age patrons, and encourage mentorship opportunities between arts organizations and students pursuing studies in various performing arts areas.

“We at Utah Cultural Alliance are thrilled to be able to amplify statewide student discounts on nowplayingutah.com. The humanities and arts inspire all of us. All of us should be able to experience culture, not just some who can afford it,” said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, executive director of Utah Cultural Alliance.

The state’s fine arts colleges recognize the importance of access to performance and mentorship opportunities for students in the arts.

“We make arts at the University of Utah as accessible to our students as possible through our Arts Pass,” said John W. Scheib, associate vice president for the arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts. “And not just because we want them to have a good time (although we know they will), but because arts experiences are linked with better critical thinking skills, greater social tolerance, and even better workforce opportunities. We are thrilled that this partnership will extend similar benefits to even more arts experiences in our community program.”

Encouraging students to broaden their classroom studies to real-life experiences in their fields of study gives them access to professional networking, said Joshua Stavros, Associate Director of Arts Administration, Southern Utah University.

“Cultural organizations know that they need to keep their audiences growing, and remain relevant in their communities. There is no better way to do this than to engage with the schools and students in their areas and invite them to participate,” continued Mr. Stavros. “Whether it is bringing art and culture to schools, or students and schools to cultural organizations, the result is the same. I am so thrilled that NowPlayingUtah.com will have a ‘one stop shop’ for schools and students to see the wonderful opportunities that the arts and culture community are providing.”

Utah’s performing arts organizations will join in a state-wide “Back to School” month of student-friendly performances and exhibits in September. Non profit arts organizations highlighting student access and awareness include:

Utah Cultural Alliance offers student memberships for $25, which includes access to mentor lists and other professional development opportunities.