Letter from Jody
These are exciting times on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.
Each new academic year brings renewed energy and an influx of talent and enthusiasm from new students and scholars alike.
This year that excitement could be not only felt, but seen, both in the digital and real worlds. We are particularly proud of our new UVa Arts website. Launched early last Fall, the site provides a comprehensive overview of the arts landscape, highlighting events and accomplishments and profiling the extraordinary people who behind them. We also launched a digital version of the magazine; our second issue, which marked the launch, reached more than 14,000 people!
We recently connected with more than 500 students, many of them first years, at our inaugural Arts Grounds Open House, which offered a chance to sample all the arts has to offer at UVa, meet our arts professionals, enjoy a barbecue, and watch an outdoor screening of Pitch Perfect. It was a fun night, but even more than that, it was a great way to provide a vibrant snapshot of the Arts at UVa to an audience that included many First Years, and to showcase the diverse and high quality offerings that are available to every student throughout their time here.
We have started another exciting tradition this year with the first-ever Arts Endowment Grant, which this year is going to an exciting collaboration between the Drama’s Dance Program, Digital Media Design, also in Drama, and the McIntire Department of Music.
The year has brought a number of important appointments across the Arts Grounds. You’ll read about many of those people in this magazine, including Peter Bussigel, the new Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Arts at the McIntire Department of Music, and its new Chair, Matthew Burtner; and our new Drama Department Chair, Colleen Kelly.
The changes have also included some important farewells, as we celebrated the colorful and distinguished career of LaVahn Hoh and Bob Chapel’s final year at the helm of Heritage Theatre Festival after his remarkable run.
We hope you enjoy the issue!