2018 Education Guide: Many WSU events open to community
by Jenniffer WARDELL
OGDEN—You don’t have to be a college student to enjoy everything that colleges have to offer.
Weber State University offers a variety of concerts, lectures, programs and other events that are open to the general public. Though some of the larger events are ticketed, including performances and presentations by nationally-known artists and speakers, many events are completely free.
“It goes back to (the university’s) mission of accessibility,” said Christie Denniston, director of marketing and PR for the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities at Weber State University. “We want to make what we do be accessible to all. But I think a lot of the time, people just don’t look.”
The Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities is one of the biggest sources of public events at the university, bringing some of the biggest speakers and performers from all across the U.S. to the Val. A Browning Center. Most recently, that list included Cornel West, a scholar, author and Harvard University professor, who spoke about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Performers in previous years have included everyone from John Denver to Audra McDonald to the Bolshoi Ballet.
“We’re the largest performing venue north of Salt Lake City, and most people don’t know that,” said Denniston. “We bring these people to Utah in a way that’s educational, accessible and enlightening.”
Though many of the most notable performances are ticketed, the college also offers a variety of free events. Next up will be the 18th Annual Weber State Gospel Music Festival, set for Jan. 19 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight at the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Later this month will be the Honor Orchestra Festival Concert, set for Jan. 27 starting at 4 p.m. in the same location.
“We don’t just do events once or twice a year, but 500 times,” said Denniston. “We also make the center available to the community for their events. We really open our doors.”
In addition to the performing arts center, the college also has the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery in the Kimball Visual Arts Center. In addition to a student art show opening Jan. 19, the gallery will also host a free family art program called Snow Days on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon.
“It’s Utah’s largest contemporary art gallery,” said Denniston.
Other university departments offer public programs as well. The Weber Historical Society offers free monthly lectures on a variety of topics, including public opinion on the Civil War, climate change, and how the science of sand applies to the Mars rovers. At the next lecture, set for Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Hurst Learning Center in Weber State’s Dumke Hall, Professor Emeritus Jan Joy Kasson from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill will share the true story of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Parking next to the Kimball Visual Arts Center is free. For more information about these events and others, visit apps.weber.edu/calendars.