I’m writing this while it is 97 degrees out, so it feels odd to be doing the “Fall Arts Guide.” But, the weekend this issue hits the streets it is forecast to be in the 80s. I don’t know if it’s age, but I’m looking forward to 70s and 80s outside, even though I haven’t completed many of my summer outdoor projects. Once I hit send on the final page to the press, I’ll go out there and get the remaining done. After a mimosa. Or nine.
We are lucky to live in this city that has so many strong arts organizations. Some are world-renowned. Others should be. Our arts community is so strong that, even with a large new theater downtown, many smaller organizations struggle for venue space.
We put Taylor Mac on the cover of this issue because he personifies so many of the arts. He is his canvas for his incredible face art and costumes. He is also an actor and singer, a songwriter and playwright, performance artist and director. And he received a Genius Award last year from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in drama last year.
I say all of this because I don’t think he’s as well known on this side of the country as his now-hometown of New York City. Born in Laguna Beach and raised in Stockton, Calif., he moved to the Big Apple at age 21 to pursue arts.
And I’ve been misgendering Mac this whole article. Taylor uses the gender pronoun “judy.” I think this shows two sides of judy’s personae — the jester and the forward-thinker.
I’m hoping judy’s show at Kingsbury Hall sells every seat and packs people into the hallways. This work is important to see.
Also, forward-looking art will be found at the Urban Arts Festival at the Gallivan Center the weekend of Sept. 15. The largest free arts event in Utah leans less towards art for the living room and more towards the provocative edge. You’ll also see new media arts and virtual reality. It’s well worth a day-drinking trip to downtown.
I’m excited to see Matthew Greene’s Good Standing at Plan-B Theatre Company after reading his very personal story on page 29 showing his growth as a gay man.
You will also find me, since I just flew home from Paris after visiting for the Gay Games and watched An American In Paris on the plane, at the Utah Symphony concert by the same name which features the work of George Gershwin complemented by a jazzy piano concerto by Ravel.
There! I’ve got your season’s arts all planned out for you. Now let’s buy some fun Mac-inspired outfits to wear out on the town.