Arts Pass benefits University of Utah students, staff, faculty

Story and photos by MADELEINE M. PORTER

The University of Utah Arts Pass provides funding to programs, enables students to be in touch with their creativity, and gives the U community the ability to explore beyond their comfort zones.

The Arts Pass is “open to all students and faculty members at the U and includes screenings, performances, concerts, and exhibitions.” It is programmed into a person’s campus identification card, and permits them to attend some fine-arts events at a discounted rate and others free of charge.

When Bryan West Kilpatrick was in his second year of college, 2012, the Arts Pass was released. “It gives students access to discounts and anything in the performing arts, including the Pioneer Theatre which is the only professional theater on a Pac-12 campus,” Kilpatrick said in a phone interview. He is a logistics manager for the West Coast and was a theater major for four years.

Discounts are  particularly beneficial to U students. Many are on a college budget and don’t want to spend money on entertainment.

Some students still refrain from going to a wide array of the fine-arts events available, for the fear of having to attend alone. After speaking with multiple students, this fear is a driving factor as to why they do not attend.

Ali Lorenz is a dance major in the School of Dance, which is part of the College of Fine Arts. “It can be really intimidating to attend events, especially in the arts. That is a very unfamiliar field for a lot of people,” Lorenz said.

Pioneer Theatre Company advertises that “current University of Utah students may take advantage of student discounts through the Student Arts Pass to attend performances at discounted rates. With a valid University of Utah UCard, students may receive up to two tickets.”

Students with a valid UCard receive two discounted tickets per performance. Two tickets is intended to inspire students to involve their peers in the arts. Immersing themselves in a field that may be unfamiliar is a challenge that can be overcome.

Kilpatrick added, “There are some shows and exhibits that I wouldn’t end up going to because I didn’t want to attend alone.”

The fear of attending alone affects the number of attendees at the many different productions available. Lorenz noticed this very early on in her experience within her modern dance productions.

“The Arts Pass in our (modern dance) community is so blatantly obvious because we use it to attend productions required for class,” Lorenz said. “However, there is a gap between us, students in the College of Fine Arts, and the rest of the University as a whole.”

The University of Utah has an array of different fields that students are involved in. Students can enjoy the fine arts at a discounted rate while the Arts Pass is still available to them.

Saige Miller, a double major in communication and sociology, believes that fine arts are crucial in any form of education.

“The fine arts are a prerequisite to many different branches of education. You need creative writing or fine arts in engineering or in STEM education. I think it is so central to learning and people should want to learn more about it,” Miller said.

Kilpatrick also commented on the importance of fine arts. “If you are in a major that doesn’t do anything artistic or creative, it is still nice to go explore something out of your comfort zone. We have some pretty amazing student-run shows that are going on and some are even produced by students.”

Not only does the Arts Pass give students the opportunity to explore different types of fine arts but it also aids in the funding that is given to the College of Fine Arts.

The Arts Pass helps the College of Fine Arts keep track of how many students tickets have been used each year, which helps the budget manager determine the budget amount for the semester.

Lorenz said that when the modern dance program merged with the ballet program in summer 2017, it also merged the two separate budgets. Cole Adams, her production class professor, explained that the Arts Pass affects the amount of funding each program receives.

“We get funding through the Arts Pass based on how many students are using the Arts Pass. The budget manager for that year looks at the amount of students who have used the pass. The greater the number of attendees the more funding our program receives because that means people are interested and want to keep attending,” Lorenz said.

The funds that are available to the College of Fine Arts are used for the resources it takes to produce the event.

University of Utah students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in many different forms of fine arts. Attending events helps the College of Fine Arts’ budget grow so more intricate shows can be produced.