This week, over 570 fifth and sixth grade students from eleven West Valley City schools participated in the Utah Cultural Celebration Center’s University Diversity Mash-Up. This after school program is designed to inspire students to dream big, think about what kind of career they may want in the future, and to explore options in higher education that will get them there. The program lasts 90 minutes and consists of three mashup stations where students learn about the value of higher education, different types of certificates and degrees, and “try out” different fields through interactive, hands-on activities.
The purpose of the University Diversity Mash-Up is to help build a college-bound culture in West Valley City, where educational attainment continues to lag behind both the county and state statistics. Now in its eighth year, the University Diversity Mash-Up works to have a positive impact on long-term statistics, increase the rates of high school graduation, and pursuit of higher education. This educational program also cultivates unique relationships with other educational organizations and institutions including Salt Lake Community College, the University of Utah, Westminster College, UVU Women’s Leadership Project, WVC Youth City Council, and the Community Education Partnership of WVC.
To learn more about the University Diversity Mash-Up and other educational programs at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center at https://www.culturalcelebration.org/education.html.
by Taylor Timmerman
On Saturday, October 28th, over 3500 people gathered at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center for our 14th annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration. The colorful and lively community festival shared the sacred Mexican holiday that celebrates the life of friends and family whom have passed and serves as a reminder that they have not been forgotten. With a mix of traditional and contemporary stylizations, our Dia de los Muertos welcomed families that observe the holiday in their own home, and also helped to educate and share this cultural event with the wider community.
By Taylor Timmerman
In partnership with the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center is proud to present BOB HOPE: AN AMERICAN TREASURE.
The 2,200-square foot traveling exhibit tells the story of the Guinness World Records book “most honored” entertainer through a series of 15 themed exhibit display units that celebrate his comedic contributions, achievements in entertainment, relationships with a number of U.S. Presidents, and his other passion – golf. It traces his family’s arrival at Ellis Island, life as part of an immigrant family in Cleveland, his struggles to succeed in New York in entertainment, the success and family life he found in Holly wood, and how golf and his love for the military took him around the world.
The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Observance of the holiday in Mexican-American communities in the United States has become more important and widespread as the community grows numerically and economically.
By Jeff Olsen, @JeffOlsen76
Construction is underway. Stay tuned to this post for periodic photo updates. An overview of the project: we're adding classrooms, new prep areas, offices, and storage. Upgrades to existing HVAC, A/V, and other systems will also be performed.
Project Overview and Layout
Click "Read More" for construction update photos!
Currently on display in the Celebration Gallery is Eye Hand Mind: Selections from the Africa Meets Africa Project. The Utah Cultural Celebration Center is presenting the exhibition in partnership with the University of Utah’s International & Area Studies Program, Center for Science and Math Education, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. As a result of the project, the museum added thirteen new objects to their permanent collection. These beer pot covers, arm/leg bands, bandoliers, aprons, belts, and acrylic works are the primary focus of the exhibition, which is part of a larger effort to teach math and science through art from South Africa.
By Julie DeLong, @UCCCF
“Look at all these choices - - I can eat my way around the world!" said a happy patron at The Wasatch International Food Festival, held by West Valley City on August 19 & 20 in partnership with the community and sponsors. It was created as a signature event at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center to bring people together in celebration of the vibrant diverse local cultures with world cuisines, music, arts, and community activities. Celebrity chef Viet Pham was on hand to explain and make delicious fried chicken on the Sysco Demonstration Stage and shared it with the audience afterwards.
For twelve years the centerpiece of the Dia de los Muertos was a traditional altar constructed by partner organization Una Mano Amiga. The altar, built entirely by UMA Director Rocio Mejia, her family, and close friends, was a dramatic spectacle honoring and paying tribute to the dead. The post-colonial style altar may be familiar to many, as it has been part of Mexican and other Central and South American countries Dia de los Muertos holiday for over 500 years. The three-tiered altar was a complete offering, with photos of deceased loved ones; arches & crosses; glasses of water and other beverages; food; salt; candles; mirrors; marigold flowers; colorful cut paper and other adornments. Like altars of its type, the heartfelt and beautiful display combined indigenous and Catholic iconography, all displayed to honor and pay respect to the dead.
From September 29 – October 1, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center hosts the Utah Division of State History’s annual conference. This year’s theme is “Rural Utah, Western Issues”, which conference organizers expect will highlight new, revised, or heretofore unknown histories of rural and western life for a twenty-first century public. Conference registration information can be found here.
Accompanying the 2016 Annual State History Conference is an exhibition of historic maps, owned by Salt Lake City businessman Stephen Boulay. Stephen’s fascination with maps and the stories they tell began three decades ago, and he has been collecting maps ever since. Stephen has accumulated one of the finest collections of maps dealing with the history of Utah. Some of Stephen’s most prized cartographical renditions show the territory from its sixteenth century imaginings, all the way to statehood in 1986.