POLITICS

Utah students win tickets to Hamilton

Apr 19, 2018, 9:11 PM | Updated: Apr 20, 2018, 1:06 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The hit musical “Hamilton” is underway at the Broadway at the Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake right now. The much-anticipated show runs through May 6. Tickets sold out quickly, but some Utah students had an opportunity to win some tickets.

Photo: Keith McCord, KSL TV

All they had to do is write a letter. Since the show deals with government and politics, students were told to send letters to elected officials about an important local topic or issue that needs attention. If selected, the student and the person who received the letter would attend the performance together.

Ammon Thompson is in the 10th grade at Woods Cross High School. He sent his letter to State Representative Becky Edwards.

“It was about the air quality in Utah, and how we can improve it,” Thompson said Thursday.

An excerpt from Thompson’s letter reads:

I have been told by many adults, especially my teachers, that our air quality is poor. And well, I want to help with that. I know our state has been working very hard for improved air quality, but I think we’re far from over with inversion and pollution. Utah has many problems, but air quality is a huge one. Together we must fight to decrease fossil fuels and pollution. It’s going to take a long time and will require work from everyone, but if we are united as a community, what can stop us?”
Sincerely,
Ammon Thompson

Thompson is one of 280 students who were randomly selected to attend Hamilton. Thanks in part to funding from the Utah Legislature, this project was created by the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts to encourage students to get involved with making their communities better.

In February, students in grades nine through 12 began writing their letters, and more than 650 were sent in from all over the state. Subjects ranged from pollution, immigration, school shootings and educational funding.

“Our real goal was: get involved and do as Hamilton does and write. And talk about an issue that you’re interested in,” said Josh Loftin, spokesman with the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts.

Davis County Republican Becky Edwards, who joined Thompson at Thursday’s performance, is thrilled with this project, in that it gets young people involved in the political process, learning that they can have a hand in molding their future.

“When you get a kid like this [Thompson] saying this is important, you know that his habits will start to become real patterns for him and kids like him and that will make a huge difference,” Edwards said.

The hope is, the letter writing campaign, and the bonus of attending “Hamilton,” will help keep the conversation between students and elected officials going for years to come.

“The goal is if you write one letter, it’s going to lead to another letter. So if you get them to understand how easy it is to really get involved. That’s really the goal, civic engagement,” Loftin said.

About half of the students selected are attending the April 19th show. The other group will attend the matinee performance on Saturday, April 21st.

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Utah students win tickets to Hamilton