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West Jordan Journal

The Viridian hosts concerts and ‘Discover Earth’ exhibit

Aug 31, 2017 06:42PM ● By Jana Klopsch

A traveling exhibit, “Discover Earth,” is on display at the Viridian (SL Co. Library)

By Ruth Hendricks | [email protected]

On an August evening, strains of Polynesian music floated out from the Viridian’s outdoor theater next to the West Jordan Library. This was just one of a series of free concerts put on by Excellence in the Community.

Founded in 2005, Excellence in the Community is nonprofit organization based on the premise that Utah’s best musicians and dancers are a powerful resource for bringing people together and enhancing communities. 

The organization works to create more and better performance opportunities for Utah artists. Since the first event in 2005, more than 300 concerts have been presented. Now its brings free concerts to downtown Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Holladay and Provo.

With a focus on quality musicianship and a diversity of musical styles, the concerts are chosen to appeal to a broad range of age groups. 

On Aug. 12, the featured group was Island Time II. With music provided by drums, guitars and vocals, costumed dancers performed routines representing the various islands of Polynesian, including Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand.

Joining the regular dancers was a group of small girls performing their first hula. Later, the audience enjoyed the ever-thrilling fire knife dance. The performers also recruited volunteers from the audience to learn the haka, a traditional war dance from the Māori people of New Zealand, and the hula from Hawaii. 

The next free concert at the Viridian will be by the group Troubadour 77 on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. You can find out about other concerts at

Another event at the Viridian is an exhibit, “Discover Earth: Our Changing Planet.” The national traveling exhibition explores Earth’s ever-changing physical and biological systems using media and interactive experiences. It will be on display until Sept. 22.

“Discover Earth gives a great foundation for understanding life and life sciences,” library director Jim Cooper said. “It gives a broader understanding for life on the planet and a sense of timelessness on Earth. We are proud the county library was selected as one of the few sites nationwide to host this exhibit.”

Discover Earth strives to make science fun and interesting with hands-on, multimedia activities on topics such as wild weather events, our changing ecosystems and the global view of Earth. The Discover Earth exhibition focuses on earth science topics, such as the differences between weather and climate, water cycle effects and ecosystem changes. Visitors can discover how local environmental changes impact our global environment.

The exhibit is divided into three areas: Our Changing Planet; Ecosystems: The Web of Life; and Environmental Change at Home. Exhibit components incorporate personal narratives, stunning graphics, video, animations and simulation-based educational games.

The exhibit was developed by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning in partnership with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. The project was made possible through support from the National Science Foundation. It is part of NCIL’s STAR Library Education Network.    

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