2017–2018 Lecture Series and Performing Arts Series Announcement & On-Sale Dates

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2017–2018 Lecture Series and Performing Arts Series. Every year, these highly anticipated lectures, performances and presentations bring award-winning authors, journalists, artists and musicians to stimulate curiosity and conversation and bring joy to the Wood River Valley community.

The 20172018 Performing Arts Series presents five incredible opportunities to experience nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians. The series includes a return visit from International Guitar Night after a sold-out performance in 2017 with a fresh new line-up of virtuoso musicians led again by the incredible Lulo Reinhardt, an all female Spanish flamenco evening with Las Migas, powerful songwriting and astonishing guitar by Band of Horses front man, Tyler Ramsey, an evening with the innovative Irish folk trio, Socks in the Frying Pan, and bluegrass by renowned Grammy Award winner Mark O’Connor with the O’Connor Band. As part of The Center’s commitment to arts education, every performer in the 2017–2018 Performing Arts Series will be working in local schools as part of The Center’s Professional Artist Residency Program.

The events associated with the 20172018 Lecture Series are all connected to The Center’s 2017-2018 BIG IDEA projects. As part of The Unreliable Narrator BIG IDEA project (Sept. 1–Nov. 24, 2017), the community will have the opportunity to hear from bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart about the threat that “fake news” presents to our democracy. As part of This Land is Whose Land? BIG IDEA project (Jan. 26–March 31, 2018), The Center shifts focus to a conversation about refugees and how contemporary artists, city administrators and filmmakers grapple with how to welcome others into our communities, featuring a lecture by Vietnamese American Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Guggenheim Fellow Viet Thanh Nguyen. In the spring, we turn to a celebration of bees and pollinators with a BIG IDEA project titled Bees (April 13–June 22, 2018). This project explores the essential role these tiny creatures play in our lives and features a lecture with Ruth Reichl, bestselling author, food critic and judge of Bravo’s Top Chef Master, that focuses on protecting what we eat.

Tickets for the Lecture Series and the Performing Arts Series will first be made available to members of The Center. On Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m., series tickets will be on sale to members only; on Friday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., individual tickets will be on sale to members only. On Friday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., tickets will be on sale to the general public. For information about Sun Valley Center for the Arts membership, visit sunvalleycenter.org/membership.


James B. Stewart:
“Truth Matters: How Fake News and False Statements Undermine America”
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 (DATE CHANGE: Please note this lecture date has changed from the originally published date of Oct 12)
Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum, 6:30 p.m.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author James B. Stewart combines the skills of an investigative reporter with the style and sensibility of a novelist, examining events in finance, law and politics that shape American society. A former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Stewart is the author of multiple bestselling books. His latest book, Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff, analyzes America’s perjury trend, which he suggests is symptomatic of an ethical breakdown compromising the country’s judicial system as well as business, government, academia and medicine. A Harvard educated lawyer, Stewart is the Bloomberg Professor of Business Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. The San Francisco Examiner described Stewart as “the journalist every journalist would like to be.”

Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project The Unreliable Narrator.

Ruth Reichl: “Protect What We Eat”
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum, 6:30 p.m.

Bestselling author, food critic and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Ruth Reichl is one of the most recognizable and beloved culinary voices, guiding people around the kitchen, showing them what to
eat, how to cook and where to satisfy their cravings. Reichl has been the Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet magazine, the restaurant critic of The New York Times and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times. Reichl is the author of several bestselling memoirs and cookbooks, including Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, and My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life, named best cookbook of the year and one of the best books of the year by Amazon. Currently, Reichl is working on her fifth memoir. Her 10-episode PBS show, Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth, highlighted her trips to the best cooking schools on five continents. Born and raised in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Reichl moved to Berkeley, California, in the early 1970s, where she played an integral role in America’s culinary revolution as chef and co-owner of Swallow restaurant. 

Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project Bees.

Ruth Reichl’s lecture has been generously sponsored by Susan and Ron Greenspan.

Viet Thanh Nguyen: “An Evening with Viet Thanh Nguyen”
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum, 6:30 p.m.

Award-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen continues to gain recognition for his bold, elegant and fiercely honest writing. His remarkable debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and made the finalist list for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner award. His collection of short stories titled “The Refugees” was released in 2017. Nguyen and his family came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War. As he grew up in America, he noticed that most movies and books about the war focused on Americans while the Vietnamese were silenced and erased. He was inspired by this lack of representation to write about the war from a Vietnamese perspective. The New York Times says that his novel, “fills a void … giving voice to the previously voiceless while it compels the rest of us to look at the events of 40 years ago in a new light.” His voice is refreshing and powerful as he urges readers to examine the legacy of that tumultuous time and its aftermath from a new perspective. He is currently the Chair of the English Department at the University of Southern California, where he is also an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity.  

Part of The Center’s BIG IDEA project This Land is Whose Land?

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s lecture is presented in partnership with The Community Library and has been generously supported by an anonymous gift and Marcia & Don Liebich.

Student Humanities Club sponsors
Free Student Humanities Club tickets are provided through the generous support of Robin Leavitt and Terry Friedlander for lecture series, performing arts events and Company of Fools staged readings.


Las Migas
Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Liberty Theatre, Hailey, 7 p.m.

Las Migas is unique among Spanish music groups, a fascinating blend of Flamenco and Mediterranean styles that combines classic and contemporary rhythms and melodies that range from powerful to passionate to playful. The four women of Las Migas come from four different cities that span not only the geography of Spain but also its cultural diversity—Barcelona, Sevilla, Córdoba and Lérida. The two Andalusians are the guitarists: Marta Robles, the veteran, and Alicia Grillo, the most recent addition and youngest musician of the group. The two Catalans are Alba Carmona on vocals (and dance), and Roser Loscos on violin. They all came to the group with one common passion: Flamenco. You can hear it in the rhythms of the guitarists, the dancing violin lines and the raw power of the vocals.

Mark O’Connor with the O’Connor Band 
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
Sun Valley Opera House, 7 p.m.

Mark O’Connor is a renowned and revered bluegrass, jazz and country violinist and fiddler, a composer and music educator. Backed by his Grammy Award-winning O’Connor Band, Mark O’Connor puts on an engaging, dynamic show showcasing compelling arrangements, virtuosic solos and tight vocal harmonies. The O’Connor Band’s debut album, Coming Home, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017. This award was in addition to Mark O’Connor’s other two Grammy wins: one for Best Country Music Performance in 1991 and the other for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2000.

The O’Connor Band is a family band in the bluegrass and country traditions, but one that happens to have one of the greatest instrumentalists of this generation in the lineup. Mark O’Connor, the group’s founder, has played with Stéphane Grappelli, David Grisman, Béla Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Itzhak Perlman, Chet Atkins, Yo-Yo Ma and many more.

Tyler Ramsey
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018
Sun Valley Opera House, 7 p.m.

Best known as the lead guitar and singer with Band of Horses, Ramsey left the group to focus on his solo career in May 2017. Astonishing on guitar, Ramsey is also a powerful songwriter and will play this solo show at the Opera House in support of a new album, to be released early 2018.


International Guitar Night
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018
Sun Valley Opera House, 7 p.m.

International Guitar Night (IGN) is North America’s premier touring guitar festival. Since IGN’s first performances in 1995, audiences have cherished the friendly informal ambiance of their concerts. Each tour, IGN founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries to join him for special evenings of solos, duets and quartets that highlight the virtuosity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar. For the 2018 North American tour, Gypsy Jazz legend Lulo Reinhardt (Germany) returns as guest host, along with young Canadian sensation Calum Graham; classical innovator Marek Pasieczny (Poland); and award-winning American guitarist Michael Chapdelaine.

Socks in the Frying Pan
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Sun Valley Opera House, 7 p.m.

Taking America by storm, the 2014 Irish Music Association “Best New Band” Socks in the Frying Pan has had several very successful tours around the U.S. where they performed at all the major Irish festivals including Milwaukee; Dublin, Ohio; and Kansas City. These County Clare natives have captivated audiences worldwide with their high energy performances, humor, breathtaking musical ability and trademark three-part harmony vocals. Their high energy, masterfully performed live shows demonstrate exactly why Socks in the Frying Pan is fast becoming a household name and why they are one of the most loved and sought after Irish bands in the world today.

Performing Arts Season Sponsors

The 2017–2018 Performing Arts Series is sponsored by Scott Miley Roofing and Wood River Inn & Suites.

*The Center’s Professional Artist Residency Program is supported by Scott Miley and Jane Rosen and, in part, with funds for International Guitar Night and Socks in the Frying Pan provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and all our members, donors and annual Wine Auction participants.


Tickets for The Center’s Lecture Series and Performing Arts Series will go on sale on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 5 , 10 a.m.: Series tickets on sale to members only
  • Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.: Individual tickets on sale to members only 
  • Friday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m.: Tickets on sale to the general public



Includes all three lectures with Premium Seating and an invitation to the Critics Circle Series & Editors Series luncheon in April 2018
$500 ($395 is a tax deductible donation)


Includes all three lectures; Regular Seating; available to members only
$94.50 (includes 10 percent member discount)

Regular Seating: $35/$45 nonmember; $15 student/educator 
(Educator tickets are limited to one per person)

*Prices listed do not include taxes or applicable ticket fees.

PERFORMING ARTS SERIES PRICES (seating is reserved for all Performing Arts shows)


Includes five concerts with Premium Seating and an invitation to the Critics Circle Series & Editors Series luncheon April 2018
$500 ($350 is tax deductible donation)


Includes five concerts with Premium Seating; available to members only
Adult: $252 / Student: $126 (includes additional 10 percent member discount


Includes five concerts with Regular Seating; available to members only
Adult: $135 / Student: $67.50 (includes additional 10 percent member discount)


Pricing varies by show; Premium and Regular Seating available at each performance

Member prices begin at $25 (Regular Seating), $50 (Premium Seating)

Nonmember prices begin at $35 and are an additional $10 above member price

Student (18 & under) prices begin at $12.50 (Regular Seating), $25 (Premium Seating)
(Student price is the same for members and nonmembers)

Individual Ticket pricing details are available at sunvalleycenter.org/concerts

*Prices listed do not include taxes or applicable ticket fees.

Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 208.726.9491, or at The Center box office at 191 Fifth Street East in Ketchum. Members can purchase series tickets through the box office or by a special link that will be sent via email. To learn more about Sun Valley Center for the Arts membership, please visit sunvalleycenter.org or call The Center at 208.726.9491.