There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how fortunate I am to serve as Vice Provost for the Arts at the University of Virginia.
The immense talent and seemingly endless inspiration, shown by our faculty and students, is in so many ways the heart and soul of the University itself and certainly an embodiment of the vision laid out by Thomas Jefferson almost 200 years ago. In fact, I am thrilled to say that the arts will be playing a major role in the upcoming Bicentennial Launch Celebration that will take place this coming fall on Grounds, which will include dynamic performances and original works performed by UVA students and faculty, as well as by nationally and internationally known artists across the entire spectrum of artistic expression.
These types of artists are hardly strangers to our Arts Grounds. Just this spring, we hosted Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the creators of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, for an encore of sorts, as the pair returned to speak to our Department of Drama students and to a larger public audience about their incredible careers (and to hear some of their iconic work being performed by our University Singers, led by Michael Slon). Just a few weeks later, the Emmy Award and Tony Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, All the Way) visited with students and headlined our President’s Speaker Series for the Arts, sharing an intimate, amusing and inspiring conversation with Academy and Emmy-Award-winning producer and UVA alumnus Mark Johnson.
There is more cause for celebration around Arts Grounds with the arrival of Matthew McLendon as Director of The Fralin Museum of Art. You can learn more about Matthew in this issue. You’ll also learn about the innovative selection process for our new Charlottesville Symphony Director that saw all three finalists programming and leading their own concerts. Soon we will be announcing that Heritage Theatre Festival has a new leader, as well following what promises to be a delightful 2017 season!
As always, the Arts at UVA will continue to rely on those who appreciate and support them, and in the process, support the continued cultivation of the artists we continue to send out into the world. We remain so thankful for that support, and hope you enjoy our latest update on the happening on our Arts Grounds!