Utah’s Arts and Artists

Almost four years ago, “an old friend”, Herb Arnold, came from Alabama to visit his adult daughter. We’d known each other 45 years before. Surprise, surprise! We hung out for a few weeks together while he was here, and then got married.

One of many delights with this sudden turn of life‑events came when he and I, plus another writing couple I knew, formed a small critique group, then decided to start a blog: The ABC Writers Guild. Herb wrote of the wonders he found in Utah’s Arts Community on coming to Utah, and I’d love to share the words he wrote in November 2012 with you:

I was first introduced to “The Arts” in Utah about 45 years ago: The Barbary Coast Opera House in Park City where melodramas were performed during the weekends. Of course, there was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

I didn’t know of the Shakespeare Festival which, at the time, was in its infancy. We were about a decade from a local boy, Orson Scott Card, publishing a short story entitled “Ender’s Game.”

How things have changed; my perception of things, at any rate.

When I returned to Salt Lake in February 2012 for a visit (continue reading when you’ve finished snickering), I found a wonderland of art festivities and businesses.

The Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, now over 50 years old (www.bard.org), Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre (www.ufoc.org), CenterPoint Legacy Theatre (www.centerpointtheatre.org) are only a few of the theatrical venues.

Since this is a blog about writing, let’s add “Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers” (www.wifyr.com), “Life, the Universe, and Everything (www.ltue.org), both of which bring hundreds of local writers together with published authors, local and not‑so‑local editors from major publishing houses, agents from prestigious firms, all in a celebration and educational experience on writing, publishing, and how‑to‑do‑it.

The League of Utah Writers (www.luwriters.org), a tight‑knit group spread over the state with weekly/monthly meetings to discuss the craft of writing and an annual get‑together to celebrate the written word.

Utah has given us Orson Scott Card, Dave Wolverton/David Farland, Rick Walton, Brandon Sanderson, Stephanie Meyer, and Roseanne Barr to name just a few.

Through all of these venues, I have met some fascinating people: writers, authors, editors, agents, and just plain‑old‑fans of the written word.

If you’re in Utah and don’t know of these things, get involved! If you’re not in Utah, come visit!

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