If you haven't been checking out the latest run of programs at the downtown library, you really should make an effort to see something. The minds being their events have been upping their game as of late with more performances and conversations, bringing in more arts and entertainment to their daily routine. One of the additions this year has been 12 Minutes Max, a showcase of art, music, theater and other performance arts where the individuals participating only have 12 minutes a piece to perform, giving you multiple shows in a single day. Today we chat with one of the organizers, Paul Renyolds, about the event and what you can expect to see at the next 12MM show on May 18.
Gavin: Hey Paul, first off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Paul: I'm an artist (painter). I have worked with the City Library for nine years. Jason is a musician with an MM from the U of U, who has worked with the Library for five years. We are both Librarians in AV and Non-Fiction.
Gavin: How did the idea come about for 12 Minutes Max?
Paul: I stole the idea from On the Boards in Seattle, with their permission. I lived in Seattle in the '80's and went to dozens of their 12 Minutes Max performances: Fabulous short works and works-in-progress. My wife Gretchen Reynolds and her cohorts Alexandra Karl and Kristina Lenzi started doing 12 Minutes Max in SLC at their Dunce School for the Arts, and when they stopped, I asked Errin Pedersen at the Library if they would sponsor it, and she loved the idea.
Gavin: What made you open it up to so many different genres of performing arts?
Paul: It seemed just right to create a venue for cross-pollination of various disciplines. It's great for the artists, and it gives our audience variety. You might not like everything at a 12 Minutes Max, but you will likely come away happy that you were there.
Gavin: How was it getting the word out to people and getting subjects signed up to perform?
Paul: We have worked hard at getting the word out. The Library has given us a great platform and communication work with nice designs and cards and the Library web. We got posters out all over the place, and made Facebook events. We have a number of ideas for performers, and have asked colleagues for recommendations as well. We have been inviting people to perform and people are starting to come to us with ideas.
Gavin: What guidelines do you give everyone before they start creating works for this?
Paul: We remind people that the pieces can be finished, or works-in-progress, ready for an audience and feedback. We are looking for sophisticated new work.
Gavin: What kind of challenge is it for you to put everything together in a show so each performance compliments the others?
Paul: You got it right in your question. We've put a lot of thought into making the events feel balanced.
Gavin: The first one you did this year was back in March. What was the audience reaction to it?
Paul: We had 80 people come to the first show! And just as many came to the second. People have really loved them. We are drawing on the music crowd and film people and writers and performance art lovers and dancers. There is something really exciting about seeing a mix. Some of the disciplines tend to be inward looking, and this allows people to be influenced by other artists working from a different perspective. For art lovers, there is great variety, in a short one hour show.
Gavin: Right now you've only got the four performances, are there any plans to expand and make it year-round?
Paul: We scheduled just the four at first, to see how it would fly. We've already gotten the thumbs-up from the Library to continue. We plan to keep going every month.
Gavin: For those who wish to participate this year, or possibly next year, what do they need to do?
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