MICA works with artists and partners to put on performances, events, and public art displays around the city. These projects often use the arts to engage people in dialogue about pressing community issues including immigration rights, racial justice, indigenous sovereignty, community health, and other topics. Sometimes these events build on our gallery exhibits (e.g., Meet the Artist events) while others are standalone (e.g. public murals, community discussions). These events are targeted to the full Salt Lake City community, while centering the concerns and perspectives of west side communities.
See below for some examples of past performances and events, and check out our calendar to see what is coming up.
In the summer of 2020, MICA worked with Sugar Space Foundation and a collective of community partners to launch a series of public art projects called Pain and Possibility. The project was a response to the historic moment in which we were living — a time of pandemic and uprising. It provided a platform for artists to engage with this painful present in all its complexity and contribute to collective healing and action. Through mural painting, sculpture, dance, video and other media, in locations across the city, a diverse group of artists that include BIPOC, LGBTQ and Allies helped our community engage with today’s reality while reimagining tomorrow.
In 2018, MICA celebrated 15 years working for art, community, and justice in Salt Lake. To honor the anniversary, MICA threw a huge party at Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, with music, drink, food, performances, a piñata, and an auction with works donated from dozens of local artists. MICA also handed out the first Ruby Chacón Social Justice Arts Award.
In the wake of Donald Trump's Inauguration, and the anti-immigration policies that immediately followed, MICA worked with local artists to launch its HUGE benefit show. Over 50 artists donated work, with all proceeds going to Comunidades Unidas (CU) to fund their work supporting immigrant rights, civic engagement, and community health. As co-organizer Jorge Rojas explained, “This exhibition is necessary, particularly now that Washington’s anti-immigrant efforts seem to be gaining momentum...Regardless of our political views, our community can come together and do what we can to ensure that similar efforts locally don’t further burden our most vulnerable communities.”
In February of 2016, over 60 people came to the Mestizo Coffee House for Furthering the Conversation. It was led by facilitator Wazir Jefferson, instructor of "Social Justice Leadership" in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Utah. This interactive workshop created a safe space to speak about issues of race and identity, featuring innovative strategies and exercises meant to promote understanding, conversation, and awareness about race.