Utah School for the ARTS finds a new home
July 24, 2012
The Utah School for the ARTS and its film-training branch, the REEL School, have moved from the Prospector Theater and will be housed at the former Uinta Conservatory for the Arts in Kamas.
Director Pamela Lockwood has joined forces with the conservatory’s Kevin and Sharee Harris to bring more performing arts to the area.
The school, which will still be located at 30 N. Main St. in Kamas, will now be called the Uinta Center for the ARTS, and to celebrate, it will host an open house on Saturday, July 28, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The event will feature tours, refreshments and entertainment.
The purpose of the change is to help people discover the arts in Kamas.
"A lot of people misunderstood what the world conservatory meant and thought it was a convent, a home for nuns," Lockwood said during an interview with The Park Record. "And, in reality, what we’re going to do is more than what a conservatory does. We’re going to bring a full, live-theatre season, films and a lot of after-school programs to the center."
Since the move was announced last month, Lockwood and her crew, which include the Harrises, who also run the Kamas Theatre next door, have been working night and day to prepare the buildings for the open house.
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"The side buildings and the center itself around the theatre have been upgraded pretty nicely," Lockwood said. "The practice rooms in the center are now directly connected to the theater and we have a place where the REEL film school will be situated."
Lockwood met Kevin Harris at a meeting a few months ago and he introduced her to the Kamas Theatre and the former Uinta Conservatory.
"It blew me away to see practice rooms when I first visited the place," she said. "I felt like I was going back to college."
The creative wheels in both heads began turning and Lockwood and Harris felt they could work together to build an arts program in the town.
Lockwood decided to present a live musical production of "Alice in Wonderland" at the theater and held auditions.
"All of a sudden we had 40 kids show up for auditions and I couldn’t believe it," she said. "We never had that many come to an audition when we were in Park City.
"The funny thing is we have kids coming from Park City to audition."
"Alice in Wonderland" has been the Utah School for the ARTS’ most successful production to date,
"We sold out a few times and had more people come than we had when we were at Prospector," Lockwood said. "That includes the audience who came to see ‘Robin Hood,’ which was our most popular show until now."
Partnering with the Harrises was a good move for both parties, Lockwood said.
"We want people to know that we’re one unit now, instead of many little ones," she said.
For the past couple of years, the Utah School for the ARTS enjoyed its time at Prospector, but as with many businesses, had shifted is focus towards a more business-oriented setting.
"I loved the Prospector as a venue and thought it had a lot of potential and I loved the people who I worked with, but it was time for us to move," she said. "We wanted to move somewhere close to Park City because we had made a lot of good friends and connections with the Kimball Art Center and the Park City Chamber Music Society. So, when we had that immediate reaction when we arrived in Kamas, it just felt right."
Sharee Harris said working with Lockwood has brought life back into the art center building’s rooms.
"Pam has more knowledge and connections in the performing arts, so that’s helping," Harris said. "When they did ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ they used the art center’s space to rehearse and that was good to see it used."
The Utah School for the ARTS will host a free open house at the Unita Center for the ARTS, 30 N. Main St., in Kamas, on Saturday, July 28, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The event will feature venue tours, refreshments and entertainment. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.