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The Kilby Kind 

Meet City Weekly’s Local Friend of the Arts, Phil Sherburne.

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Yeah, there are lots of arts management types who work long hours organizing productions and scraping dimes off the shoes of philanthropist millionaires. But for our Local Friend of the Arts award this year, we wanted someone more gritty and go-get-’em. Someone not afraid to get his hands dirty. A working-class person who does it just for the experience, not for his resume.

It was one year ago that Phil Sherburne opened Kilby Court Gallery on a wing, prayer and the permission of his landlord. Our humble burg was back on the underground map, hosting lesser-known rock and jazz bands on the tour circuit. A bust by the Salt Lake City Vice squad in June could have easily killed Sherburne’s risk-taking spirit. Instead, it’s made Kilby even more of a fixture. Since reopening in early August after meeting a full checklist of city requirements, the venue has already seen an art show, sound installations and a bevy of concerts take the stage. A refreshment stand, exhibit space, improved restrooms and a small canopy round out the new additions.

Sherburne still plans to keep the atmosphere keyed to clubbers of the non-club type. “We charge, but I tell people that we’d rather have you here than sitting at home wishing you had a few extra dollars,” he says. “It’s more fun when there are people here.”

Carry on Kilby, and long may Sherburne keep you alive.—Ben Fulton

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