5 Essential Cultural Institutions Of Salt Lake City

Whether you're considering a move to Salt Lake City, going there on vacation, or just passing through, you'll want to experience as much as possible in the Utah metropolis. Besides the stunning landscape, SLC is home to many cultural institutions certain to expand the mind and challenge the intellect. In no particular order, this list shares some organizations in Ski City USA that are not to be missed.

Our #1 entry is Salt Lake Film Society, a non-profit community arthouse cinema that presents hundreds of opportunities for residents of the SLC region to enjoy motion pictures. It has two screening spaces: one is the historic Tower Theatre, and the other is the Broadway Centre Cinemas in the city's central business district.

The organization's Motor Cinema program is a drive-in theatre experience situated on the motion picture studio backlot of Redman Movies & Stories. Salt Lake Film Society has received media coverage from various outlets such as the Deseret News and the Huffington Post.

The #2 entry is Gilgal Sculpture Garden. This landscaped area was envisioned, designed, and created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. in the mid-twentieth century. It features several original sculptures as well as stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts.

The Garden is free and open to the public. Some of the plants growing in it include cherry trees and amaranths, while hummingbirds are frequent visitors. Gilgal Garden was named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Coming in at #3, we have Ken Sanders Rare Books, a full-service antiquarian shop in downtown Salt Lake City. It sells an inventory of new, used, and rare titles, as well as a selection of art, ephemera, maps, photographs, and postcards. In addition, appraisal services for texts are available.

The shop specializes in books pertaining to Utah, the Mormons, and Western Americana, with emphases on the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, Yellowstone, and other national parks. Owner Ken Sanders has been buying, selling, and collecting books since childhood. He ran another well-known bookshop, Cosmic Aeroplane, in the 1970s, and founded Dream Garden Press in 1980.

Next up, at #4, we present the Utah Watercolor Society. The nonprofit's mission is to promote the advancement of the eponymous form of painting. The group defines the practice as any artwork that uses transparent or opaque water media.

Utah Watercolor Society holds monthly meetings, during which artists demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge with members. There's also an Illustrated Journaling group that congregates before the general meeting. Finally, the Society hosts several exhibitions of watercolor works throughout the year.

Last on our list is #5, Weller Book Works. Founded by Gus Weller in 1929, the establishment sells new, used, and rare bound texts. Based in historic Trolley Square, it is an independent, family-owned operation encompassing two floors of unique titles.

At the shop, visitors will find a special New West section that includes contemporary writing about the Utah region and its culture, as well as general Western history. Weller hosts several events for readers, such as knitting circles and breakfasts, where guests can come together to discuss literature.