It’s a new era for Salt Lake City’s arts scene.

After nearly three decades, Casey Jarman’s reign as Salt Lake City Arts Council’s performing arts program manager ended last fall after he says clashes with executive director Karen Krieger led him to resign. 

Jarman is often credited for updating SLC culturally by organizing the annual Living Traditions Festival that shows off Utah’s diversity through music, food and art and Twilight Concert Series that draws thousands of hipsters, young and old, to the city’s core. In March, Jarman was replaced by Jesse Schaefer, a trusted lieutenant.

Schaefer has worked for a handful of film festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca. His background in planning and running performing arts programs has taken him to Salt Lake City, Park City, New York and Dallas. 

At the Salt Lake Arts Council, he was Living Tradition's production assistant in 2003 and 2004 and worked as stage manager for Twilight from 2004 to 2006. The next year, he became the production manager for Living Traditions, Twilight and the Brown Bag Concert Series.

Schaefer got his first exposure as a kid to the events he now runs. “When I was in high school, I remember going to Twilight concerts when they were at Gallivan Center—definitely good memories.”

Jarman’s advice to Schaefer is to stand up to naysayers and to not fear change. “I got so much resistance to change. People didn’t want me to move [Twilight] to Pioneer Park,” he says. “You have to be very driven, very confident in your own knowledge of the field.”

Schaefer, who played for hip hop group QUUS Sound Research in the early 2000s, wants to get the Arts Council more involved with local music and keep improving Twilight for artists and patrons. “I’m hoping to bring to it a new perspective and fresh set of ideas,” he says. 

2014 Twilight Concert Series

Pioneer Park, 300 W. 300 South. Tickets: $5 

July 10: Ms. Lauryn Hill with Thundercat

July 17: TV on the Radio with Twin Shadow

July 24: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires with The Budos Band

July 31: Wu Tang Clan with Run the Jewels

Aug. 7: Local Natives with Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Aug. 14: Beck with Future Islands

Aug. 21: De la Soul with Rapsody & 9th Wonder

Aug. 28: The Head & The Heart with San Fermin

Back>>>Read other stories in our July/August 2014 issue.