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THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR AUG 12 - 18 

Our Global Climate Emergency @ Phillips Gallery, Craft Lake City DIY Festival, Stephanie Land @ Eccles Center Park City, and more.

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JOHN TAYE
  • John Taye

Our Global Climate Emergency @ Phillips Gallery
The summer of 2021 has been dominated locally not just by the ongoing pandemic, but by the impacts of climate change. Severe drought has parched the landscape; wildfires have clouded the skies; temperatures have soared to record highs. Elsewhere in the world, fires and floods have destroyed lands and lives. And in the face of a world that seems to be on the verge of collapse, artists do what they have always done in times of crisis: try to make sense of it all.

In the group show Our Global Climate Emergency at Phillips Gallery (444 E. 200 South), 29 artists explore their feelings and observations on how the world is changing, and what can be done. Rebecca Klundt's wood and acrylic piece "Reform" features the words of its title not just as a call to make change, but as an example of using reclaimed materials to "re-form" things that might otherwise become part of a landfill. Other works examine the landscape, whether it's in the form of objects that might vanish forever, like "Marjerie Glacier, Alaska" in John Taye's oil on canvas (pictured), or ominous images of a desolate place teeming with volcanoes like Maureen O'Hara Ure's "Smoke." From surrealism to abstraction, the participating artists—also including Wendy Van de Kamp, Gini Pringle, Joseph Ostraff, Trent Alvey and Carolyn Coalson—offer vivid perspectives on climate upheaval.

Friday, Aug. 13 marks the closing of this exhibition, but you can continue to support artists represented by the gallery throughout the year. Masks are currently required for visitors. Visit phillips-gallery.com for gallery hours, appointments and other information. (Scott Renshaw)

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo

Craft Lake City DIY Festival
Just like the act of creating, Craft Lake City is a year-round endeavor, offering programs and workshops dedicated to helping would-be creators help themselves. But it's the annual DIY Festival, this year sponsored by Harmons, that serves as the organization's most public face, providing an annual showcase of a wide range of makers and ways to turn yourself into a maker.

Over the course of the three-day event, you can browse through the booths representing a wide range of artisans creating art, food, clothing, games, personal care product and more; there's even a special "Kid Row" representing the work of creators under the age of 14. Workshops give guests a chance to explore topics like home-brewing, making your own "bath bombs," fashioning hand-bound leather journals and more. Among the new offerings for 2021 is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary "Save Them All" Dog Park, which offers a hydration and relief station for well-behaved animal companions if visitors choose to bring them, along with a special "take-and-make" station for creating a DIY dog toy. For entertainment, there's a Friday night concert with headliner Ritt Momney, a project of Salt Lake City's own Jack Rutter.

Craft Lake City takes up residence at its new home, the Utah State Fairpark (155 N. 1000 West), Aug. 13 (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.), Aug. 14 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.) and Aug. 15 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Tickets range from $7 - $15 for individual day tickets, with VIP options available. Visit craftlakecity.com for ticketing, accessibility details and additional information. (SR)

NICOLE BIESEK
  • Nicole Biesek

Stephanie Land @ Eccles Center Park City
The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us many things, including the precarious financial ground of many Americans on a day-to-day basis. The threat of lost wages—whether from sickness or to care for children—forces many into decisions they would never make otherwise, and homelessness lurks at far too many doors. In her 2019 best-seller Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, author Stephanie Land crafts a memoir that explores the realities of existence for the working poor, shattering myths and describing a government support system that leaves far too many gaps.

Maid's primary narrative begins with Land experiencing an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 28, eventually forced into an unstable housing situation as a result of fears of her baby's father. Living in a shelter and then in subsidized housing, Land began cleaning houses for $9 an hour, barely able to keep up with transportation, housing and other expenses as a single mother. "My job offered no sick pay, no vacation days, no foreseeable increase in wage, yet through it all, still I begged to work more," Land writes. "Wages lost from missed work hours could rarely be made up, and if I missed too many I risked being fired."

Land visits Park City's Eccles Center (1750 Kearns Blvd.) as part of the Park City Institute Equity Initiative to speak about Maid and her experiences on Saturday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $39 per person; visit parkcityinstitute.org to purchase tickets or for additional event information, including up-to-the-moment health and safety protocols. (SR)

AFRO UTAH
  • Afro utah

Afro Utah Festival
According to Gloria Mensah—executive director of GK Folks Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting educational, entrepreneurial and mental health resources to African immigrants—a unique dynamic emerged out of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. "African immigrants do not necessarily consider themselves African-American," Mensah says. "But they realized that when people see you, they don't see that you're African; they see that you're Black first. We felt there was a need not just for people to understand Blacks, but for Blacks themselves to understand that they are all one."

To that end, the first-of-its-kind Afro Utah Festival represents a unique opportunity to celebrate the presence in Utah of Black Americans whose families have been here for generations, recent arrivals from Africa, as well as those with African heritage in South America, the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere around the world. The event showcases a wide range of performers representing Afro-descent peoples in music (reggae, soul, rap, Caribbean dance music), dance and drumming, including dance lessons in addition to the performances. Food vendors offer selections from American soul food, Senegal, Jamaica and more, while on-site presentations including the Black History Museum bus offer lessons in the history of Afro-descent peoples. The festival is also scheduled to feature an awards ceremony to recognize the contributions of Afro-descent Utahns, and the Miss Africa Utah pageant.

The Afro Utah Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Gallivan Center (239 S. Main St.), from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and with tickets $11.71 for visitors over 18, free 17 and under. Visit afroutah.org for tickets and additional event information. (SR)

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