Sundance guests have seat at table |

Sundance guests have seat at table

Imagine having dinner with filmmaker Morgan Neville or singer Shirley Manson or actor Maggie Gyllenhaal — who are part of the Sundance Institute family — on the opening night of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and hearing their stories.

That is the crux of Artist at the Table, which will be held Jan. 18 at the DeJoria Center in Kamas, said Josie McGuinn, Sundance Film Festival’s associate director of events.

“Each artist has an incredible and unique story to tell, and Sundance is creating a platform for them to do that with this event,” McGuinn said. “This is an experience unlike any other experience. People will have direct access to these artists during this evening, while supporting Sundance.”

Artist at the Table is the Sundance Institute’s premiere fundraiser.

“I think people forget we’re a nonprofit and we have to raise critical funds to support our artists and programs throughout the world, around the year,” McGuinn said. “The money we raise through ticket purchases go to grants, mentorships and other Sundance Institute programs that help these independent artists tell their stories.”

The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. during the Sundance Film Festival’s opening-night screening at the Eccles Theatre, 1750 Kearns Blvd.

“Robert Redford usually does the intro to that film, and this is one of the few times, if not the only time, he will introduce a film,” McGuinn said.

After the screening, Artist at the Table guests can take a shuttle or drive themselves to the DeJoria Center, 970 S.R. 32, in Kamas, where they will enjoy a dinner, live entertainment and a program, according to McGuinn.

Attendees will enjoy cocktails and appetizers.

“We will also showcase a surprise element that we can’t reveal yet,” she said.

Dinner will be served shortly afterwards.

“Even though 450 to 500 guest will be in attendance, the event still feels very intimate because of the way it’s designed,” McGuinn said. “We take the title of the event, Artist at the Table, literally, so during the event, each table will have an artist from the Sundance family.”

Confirmed artists include filmmakers Billy Luther and Dee Rees, actors Michael Stuhlbarg and Andrea Riseborough and musicians Gingger Shankar, along with Manson, to name a few.

“We have more than 20 artists confirmed, and we are looking to confirm a total of 45 to 50 artists, which is more than we’ve ever had,” McGuinn said. “People can celebrate independent storytellers and meet these amazing artist who we work with.”

The night’s entertainment will be provided by the band String Theory.

“They will be incorporated in the evening’s program in unexpected ways,” McGuinn promised. “Also, instead of having a keynote speaker, we will have an immersive artist spotlight.”

When people purchase tickets, they can choose between two options — a ticket that includes the opening-night film and dinner, or a dinner-only ticket, McGuinn said.

“We even have more things up our sleeves that we can’t share right now,” she said. “We know that the Artist at the Table event will be the hottest spot to be on opening night.”

Sundance Film Festival’s Artist at the Table fundraiser will be held Jan. 18. For information, visit Tickets can be purchased there, or by calling 435-575-8079 or emailing

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