Park City Institute continues to expand its cultural offerings |

Park City Institute continues to expand its cultural offerings


When the Park City Institute formed back in 1998 as the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, Executive Director Teri Orr wanted to bring in thought-provoking presentations to illuminate, educate and enlighten local residents.

She is known for saying "I hope when you leave at least one of these performances, you say, 'That was time well spent' and 'I feel like I've been entertained.'"

Orr and the Park City Institute have remained true to that sentiment for the past 18 years by presenting Grammy Award-winning musicians such as David Byrne and Bernadette Peters, as well as groups like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Little Big Town for its Main Stage season at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.

Of course, music isn't the only thing the nonprofit presents. It has also brought in dance and performance-theater companies like MOMIX, the Trey McIntyre Project and the ever-popular Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

The schedules have also included artists known for their acting such as John Amos, Ed Asner and Jeff Daniels.

In addition, our children were entertained and educated by groups like Milkshake, 22 Quixotic Fusion, Intergalactic Nemesis and Marvel's Super Heroes.

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This year, the Main Stage season holds tight to its three-fold mission with an ambitious schedule that starts off with Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent Maureen Dowd and continues with the Texas Roadhouse grooves of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, the classical discipline of Ballet West and the soulful works by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre's Ailey II.

The list goes on.

In addition to the public performances, more than 80 percent of these artists, commentators, dancers and musicians will also arrive in town early to offer workshops to Park City and Summit County students.

Many people don't realize these workshops are offered to these students for free, but the Park City Institute, thanks to generous sponsors, pays all of the artists and personalities an additional performance fee.

The Park City Institute also offers discount and free tickets to those local residents who might not otherwise get an opportunity to experience a live theatrical performance.

That's why Orr and the Park City Institute crew are perpetual fundraisers. But this is also a reason why we, as a community, need to show support through sponsorships, memberships and buying tickets.

Park City is lucky. For a town our size, we and our children have access to these seasoned entertainers and provocative thinkers.

Let's keep this going at least another 18 years.