Welcome Back from Jody Kielbasa
When the COVID-19 health crisis hit the United States in early March, we had no idea that we’d still be working from home in late May, navigating the upending changes to life as we know it - changes that, too, have affected our work in the arts at UVA.
Typically, at this time of year, you would be receiving the 12th edition of the UVA Arts Magazine – a piece of art in its own right – that shares stories of the incredible work that UVA arts students, staff, and faculty are doing to create, inspire, and connect. Once this passes and we are able to safely gather and work together in person again, we will return to sending physical editions out through the mail, but in the meantime, we are excited to present the Digital UVA Arts Magazine with the same in-depth, inside stories as always. You will be receiving this magazine to your inbox in three installments over the summer. In this edition, we look back at the past year and explore when the UVA Department of Drama partnered with Children’s Assistive Technology Service to create costumes for children with limited mobility that incorporate wheelchairs into their design, aptly named Hallowheels. You can also read about Veronica Merrill, a rockstar Miller Arts Scholar, a University-wide effort to showcase poetry and art on UTS buses, and much more.
Despite the move to online courses and cancellation of so many arts events, our teams responded quickly and creatively to continue to provide online programming to support and engage faculty, students, friends, and our loyal audiences. From The Fralin Museum of Art and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection’s virtual tour of the Inside World to the Virginia Film Festival’s Beyond the Screen conversation series to launching the first installment of Inside UVA Arts, which we look forward to continuing in June. Or perhaps you caught one of the Arts on the Hill: Digital Episodes celebrating creativity in these uncertain times, spearheaded by the Office of the President, Provost, & Vice Provost for the Arts. We all know that the artists are incredible problem-solvers and that imagination will shine through; we cannot wait to see the work that will emerge on the other side of this!
Next week, we are launching a campaign to raise funds that will directly support the future existence and success of all the programs and departments you will read about in this digital issue of our magazine. It is no secret that this health crisis has put a significant strain on the budgets of arts programs and staff across the country – especially those with public-facing missions, that are driven by ticket sales and events. A gift to the UVA Arts Fund for Artistic Excellence will allow us to quickly respond to the needs of any student, faculty, or program that seeks assistance – requests we expect will increase in the new school year. If you feel inspired by these stories and want to give now, please click here to make a fully tax-deductible, online contribution to ensure that when the students are back on grounds, so will the arts be to support them.
Finally, I cannot thank you enough for your continued readership, patronage, and support. I have truly been humbled by the resiliency of our students, faculty, and staff and the ongoing outpouring of support from our community. Please stay well and stay in touch – we look forward to sharing and celebrating art with you in person again as soon as it is safe.