A Celebration of Ellen Meloy on April 17th

Celebration of Ellen Meloy

When: Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Bears Ears Education Center

Utah author Ellen Meloy died unexpectedly in 2004, three months after completing Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild, which went on to become a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Only a few years earlier, her book The Anthropology of Turquoise had been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This spring, Torrey House Press, in partnership with RadioWest, is honored to publish Seasons: Desert Sketches, an original collection of essays by Meloy with a foreword by Annie Proulx. 
“This cinematically vivid collection feeds both intellect and soul, and shows that Meloy possessed the brevity and vision of a poet, and the coy sass of an understated comedian.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY  

Join Torrey House Press and RadioWest for A Celebration of Ellen Meloy with Friends of Cedar Mesa featuring Zak Podmore, Amy Irvine, and Elaine Clark at the Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, Utah. This event is free and open to the public.

Ellen Meloy was a native of the West and lived in California, Montana, and Utah. Her book Eating Stone (2005) was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for nonfiction. The Anthropology of Turquoise (2002) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Utah Book Award and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Award in the adventure and travel category. She is also the author of Raven’s Exile (1994) and The Last Cheater’s Waltz (2001). Meloy spent most of her life in wild, remote places; at the time of her death in November 2004 she and her husband were living in southern Utah.  

About the featured panelists:
Elaine Clark, producer of KUER’s RadioWest, is a Hoosier, and studied Folklore and Germanic Studies at Indiana University. She earned a Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Utah, which included a year of academic research and work for an education NGO in the West Bank. In her free time, Elaine dreams about her former days as a rugby fullback, wanders the desert and mountains with her husband and stepdaughter, and, as a self-confessed history nerd, reads 19th century newspapers and census records for sport.  

Amy Irvine is a sixth-generation Utahn, long-time public lands activist, and author of Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and the Colorado Book Award. Irvine teaches in the MFA program of Southern New Hampshire University. She lives and writes off the grid in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.  

Zak Podmore is a Utah-based freelance writer, film producer, and editor who covers conservation issues and Utah politics. He is editor-at-large for Canoe & Kayak magazine and editor of the Canyon Echo: A Journal of Southeast Utah. He has previously written for Outside, Sierra, High Country News, Four Corners Free Press, High Desert Journal, and the Huffington Post. His films have been selected for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, and the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, and his magazine writing won a 2018 Folio Eddie Award. His essay collection Confluence is forthcoming from Torrey House Press.

Rent the Bluff Community Center and Kitchen for your next event

Exterior of Bluff Community Center

Looking for rental space in Bluff, Utah for your next event?

In the heart of the Bluff community surrounded by red rock and desert sands sits the Bluff Community Center and Kitchen. This multi-use facility boasts nearly 5,000 square feet of flexible space perfect for any event. The event center includes a sport-floor, ideal for yoga or other sporting events, as well as a large stage, high-quality curtains, a portable podium, and portable sound system for amplification.

Social and corporate gatherings, as well as weddings, will find the 10, 8-foot rectangular tables along with the 16 round tables, both which seat a minimum of 8, included with community center rental to be a useful addition. The community center can also provide 7 long tablecloths and 8 round green tablecloths. 

Restrooms are located at the entrance to the building. Supplies, including trash bags, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and more are available for use.

Renters are responsible for set up and take down of tables, chairs and any additional decorations. Renters must empty trash into approved bins for pick up and leave the Bluff Community Center in the condition in which it was leased.

Maximum occupancy is 300 people, and all events must conclude by 10 p.m. No alcohol or firearms are allowed on premise.

If you’d like to rent the Bluff Community Center:

  1. Download the documents below to review rental fees and requirements.
  2. Send an email to BSAcommunitycenter@gmail.com, or contact Carol Shook at 435-672-2317, to check availability for your date.

Bluff Commercial Kitchen

Additionally, the Bluff Community Center property boasts a free-standing, commercial kitchen available for rent as well. The kitchen and freestanding grill area known as Fire Mesa were designed and constructed by Design Build Bluff, from the University of Utah’s School of Architecture. Click here for a link to Design Build Bluff’s website and description of the project.

The Bluff Commercial Kitchen features a paved walkway leading to the Bluff Community Center for ease of use. A rolling cart makes it easy to transport dishes to and from the community center for catered meals.

The kitchen also includes the use of Fire Mesa, the large outdoor grill for parties. The patio surrounding the grill allows for easy wheelchair accessibility to both the grill and the indoor kitchen. There is an electrical outlet on the exterior of the building beside the grill, which can be fun for setting up a small band for your party.

The interior kitchen has heat and air conditioning. The two ovens, a refrigerator, a second refrigerator/freezer, and an electric five-burner stovetop make kitchen cooking easy. There is lots of counter space for food preparation and clean up. The numerous drawers and cupboards are fully stocked with pots, pans, bowls, plates, glasses, pitchers, knives, forks, spoons, grill tools, as well as a full assortment of kitchen utensils such as measuring cups, coffee maker, and paring knives. 

The large window on the north side of the kitchen slides open to allow serving right out of the kitchen and onto the patio. From there it’s an easy, accessible walk to either the grill area or the community center.
Clean up is easy with three large sinks allowing you to wash, rinse, and sanitize your dishes. Soap and bleach are all included with your rental. Please leave the Bluff Community Kitchen clean and in the same condition in which it was leased. 

If you’d like to rent the Bluff Community Center:

  1. Download the documents below to review rental fees and requirements.
  2. Send an email to BSAcommunitycenter@gmail.com, or contact Carol Shook at 435-672-2317, to check availability for your date.

Fees and Rental Agreement for Community Center Public and Private Events

Fees and Rental Agreement for Kitchen

Fees and Rental Agreement for Classes and Activities

2019 Bluff Balloon Festival

Join us for the 21st annual Bluff Balloon Festival the weekend of January 18 – 20, 2019.  

The festival lineup includes:
Friday, January 18th
7:30 a.m.   Balloons fly over Bluff
5:30 p.m.   Navajo Taco Supper sponsored by the Bluff Elementary School

Saturday, January 19th
7:30 a.m.  Balloons fly over Bluff
Noon – 5 p.m.  Arts Fair
4:00  p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Chili & Ice Cream Social
5:30 p.m.  Glow-in

Sunday, January 20th 
7:00 a.m.   Gather at Community Center to caravan to Valley of the Gods
Fly over Valley of the Gods 

To be a vendor at the Artist Market, contact Jana at georgianasimpsonart@gmail.com

2018 Annual Solstice Burn

Artist Joe Pachak stands before his beautiful bears that were burned on the 2017 solstice.

You’re invited! December 21st, 7 pm – Bluff, UT

Please join artist Joe Pachak and the town of Bluff for our annual solstice burn.

Communities and cultures across the world have celebrated Solstice since time immemorial. The town of Bluff has been honoring the longest night of the year for many years now. As has become tradition, local artist Joe Pachak begins building a willow sculpture at the fall Bluff Arts Festival and completes the wooden sculpture with the help of volunteers in advance of Solstice. 

We gather on this cold, dark night to light the coyote sculpture on fire as a community and embrace the coming warmth of longer days. Please join us for this free, public event.

Volunteers help Joe build this year’s coyote sculpture.

Interested in other solstice events in Bluff? Local nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa is hosting solstice lectures and craft events on December 21st from 9am – 4pm at the Bears Ears Education Center

Joe’s sculpture captures the movement and grace of the coyote.

Bears Ears Education Center Grand Opening September 22, 2018

Friends of Cedar Mesa is pleased to announce the opening of the Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, Utah on September 22, 2018.

Come join local conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa celebrate with a day of activities for all ages, culminating with an evening party featuring live music by Ed Kabotie and Tha ‘Yoties, light eats, and a cash bar. Stick around on Sunday, September 23rd to help get the Education Center ready for the fall season with a volunteer project.

The Bears Ears Education Center will provide friendly visitor guidance to many of the new visitors coming to Bears Ears – resulting in reduced visitor impacts and visitors gaining a real appreciation for the internationally-significant public lands of southeast Utah.

The Bears Ears Education Center is located at 567 Main Street (Highway 191) in Bluff, Utah. The Grand Opening is open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 22nd.  Reservations are required for the evening party at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP online to reserve your spot. The Bears Education Center will be open Thursday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. following the grand opening.

The Bears Ears Education Center was made possible with support from the Bluff community and thousands of donors including The North Face and the Lewis Family Foundation. Friends of Cedar Mesa is grateful to all friends who have supported and continue to support their mission to promote protection, stewardship, and “Visit with Respect” practices on the culturally-rich public lands of southeast Utah.