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The City Journals

Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts successfully hosts inaugural Collide Festival

Jun 07, 2021 01:05PM ● By Lizzie Walie

Salt Lake School for the Performing Art’s principal, Lucas Charon, concludes the festival by thanking patrons for attending. (Lizzie Walje/City Journals)

By Lizzie Walje | [email protected]

Student performers and professional artists from across the Salt Lake Valley came to flex their artistic muscles May 22 at the first-ever “Collide” festival. Hosted by Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, the festival utilized the school’s various performance spaces including their astonishing Black Box Theater. 

Although Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts assumed hosting duties, the school’s principal Lucas Charon explained that “The festival will have participants come from all over. It won’t just be student performers.” All things considered, the turnout was quite promising. 

In the coming years, the goal is for “Collide” to become an annual affair, where local artists and student performers alike can demonstrate their abilities. It is a lofty initiative for just about any group of high schoolers and their administrators. However, if anyone can do it, Charon feels confident his school can. “Our kids are involved in all kinds of community outreach programs,” Charon added.

Despite Salt Lake School for the Performing Art’s relative obscurity, the school itself has the talent, drive, and professionalism to curate such an event. Nestled in the epicenter of a residential neighborhood, it might initially appear strange. 

Incidentally, in a previous life, the building was used as an elementary school. Not exactly filled with auditoriums and studios pivotal to art students. Nevertheless, in the 12 years since the performing arts school took control of the building, they’ve done a magnificent job at converting its spaces advantageously. 

“We’re not just a performing arts school. Our students practice music, jazz, rock band, musical theater, stage design,” explained Karen Keefe, the school’s attendance administrator. As a result, the space has all the requirements needed to host a high-caliber festival. 

Financial challenges have affected many in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those challenges, even as regulations lessen, could potentially threaten a festival from occurring. Even so, the show must go on, and the festival managed to secure a roster that reflected some of the area’s best talent. 

Yet fundraising remains heavy on the minds of those involved, and with events like the “Collide” festival, Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts hopes to further the community’s access to art.

“We intend on hosting some fundraising events this summer or fall,” Lindsey Charon, the marketing director explained. Charon was instrumental in successfully pulling off “Collide.”

As were the students, who helped in numerous ways to ensure the success of the inaugural festival. 

The festival lasted from noon till 5 p.m. hosting events on the outdoor stage, black box theater, and film auditorium. Several food trucks descended on the property to keep patrons full and comfortable. 

A final touch that nicely punctuated the festival, was the collaborative chalk mural. “We will have a chalk mural where those who donate can add a piece of their own art,” said Counseling Administrator and Registrar Lexie Hall. “We recommend a $5 donation.” 

As the festival concluded, a Billy Joel song permeated the air. The crowds had mostly dispersed, yet the energy was apparent. In future years “Collide” will continue to showcase the community’s best and brightest. With a successful first year under their belt, the sky is the limit for the grassroots festival.