You know that immediate sense of despair and reflexive cringing that happens when someone asks you attend a middle-school theatrical production? Salt Lake Arts Academy is doing everything within its power to prove such prejudice undeserved.
Home to 270 students—ages 10-14 and spread across grades 5-8—this public charter school is bent on demonstrating a true integration of arts within the halls of education. This year will mark their seventh anniversary with an annual gala consisting of an original play written, choreographed, produced and performed by the entire student body. Valuing Places tackles the dynamics of place in modern society, and like any good artist is taught to do, the idea is to ask the tough questions—like whether we can continue to sustain the places we value—as opposed to pretending already to know the simple answers.