Utah’s Best: The Center For the Arts at Kayenta

The Kayenta Center for the Arts Brings World-Class Performances to Southern Utah

It’s a whole new era at The Center for the Arts at Kayenta. Led by Executive Director Miranda Wright, the performing arts center is ready to reach new heights and provide an arts experience unlike anything Southern Utah has ever seen.

With a brand new slate of nationally-renowned performances on the schedule, as well as the Kayenta New Play Lab set to begin its inaugural year in August, Kayenta is a must-see attraction for Salt Lakers who make a summer getaway in Greater Zion.

“We’re trying to bring some spice and new experiences down here,” says Wright, who assumed her role in 2022.

The pieces are all there for a memorable night, whenever you find yourself at Kayenta. The Center recently received an extremely competitive grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a first for a St. George-based arts organization.

The validation and funding from the NEA will be seen and felt in big ways. Not only will the New Play Lab bring together six of the most promising playwrights in the country, but audiences will also be entertained by a dynamic staged reading to conclude and celebrate the program.

“Supporting the creation and development of new work is a vital piece of our vision at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta. Our New Play Lab aims to support artists—both locally and nationally – as they tell the stories of the past, present, and future, for the benefit of us all,  as we continue to learn and grow into the ever-changing world around us.”

A St. George native, Wright honed her artistic directing chops throughout an impressive career with stops in the country’s greatest artistic hotspots, Los Angeles and New York City. Now, her vision is to place and incubate those same boundary-breaking performers in her hometown.

An example of a ‘big-city’ performance set to take the stage at Kayenta’s intimate setting is Crossing Open Ground, scheduled for early November. A large-scale outdoor music composition by John Luther Adams featuring 40 musicians, Crossing Open Ground features Grammy Award-winning conductor Christopher Rountree and is co-produced by Kate Nordstrum and Liquid Music.

Crossing Open Ground performed at the iconic Lincoln Center in New York City in April. You’ll be treated to the same music first performed in the concrete jungle of the Big Apple in the shadow of St. George’s majestic red rocks this fall.

“Our upcoming program promised to bring world-class artists and performances to Southern Utah that will shift perspectives, provide adventurous experiences, and elevate the artistry of the region,” Wright says. “I have been so thrilled to introduce my creative network to the red cliffs of Kayenta, and to introduce this local community to fantastic art.” 

881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins | 435-674-2787 | kayentaarts.com

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