Welcome Back from Jody Kielbasa
All of us who know and love the Arts at UVA understand the essential role they play in both the history and the daily life of the University.
On a recent October evening, the UVA community here and around the world was able to better understand that role through the historic and unforgettable Bicentennial Launch Celebration.
That evening, before a multigenerational gathering of nearly 20,000 on Mr. Jefferson’s beloved Lawn, the Arts at UVA were more than ready for their close-up when 750+ students and faculty joined internationally-renowned guest stars like Hamilton’s Tony Award-winning Leslie Odom, Jr., Grammy-nominated Andra Day, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the Goo Goo Dolls.
From the first notes of We Hold These Truths, commissioned by Jefferson Todd Frazier and performed by the Charlottesville Symphony and the University Singers under the direction of Michael Slon, to the stunning projections that turned our beloved and world-renowned architecture into one of the evening’s biggest stars, the whole evening served as a powerful testament to the power that the arts have to tell remarkable and complex stories. At the same time, the evening positioned the Arts to lead the way, as we continue to write our story as a community and as a University.
We are proud to share the accomplishments of many of our remarkable faculty, students, and guest artists in this issue of the UVA Arts Magazine. You’ll hear from A.D. Carson, the groundbreaking Hip Hop professor who made national news by presenting his Ph.D. dissertation at Clemson as a 34-track album and who is bringing a timely and powerful perspective on the art form and a critical part of American culture to UVA students.
You’ll read about another memorable evening last spring when Emmy and Tony-Award winning actor Bryan Cranston shared stories of his fascinating life and career as the President’s Speaker for the Arts at the John Paul Jones Arena. You’ll see how the UVA Dance Program continues to enrich the artistic fabric of UVA as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary – and that is just the beginning!
We hope you enjoy this window into what is a truly historic moment for the Arts at the University of Virginia.