Welcome to the eighth edition of the UVA Arts Magazine! As we look back at another memorable academic year, there is much to celebrate in the world of UVA Arts, and much to look forward to as well.
Throughout the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds, our talented and creative students and Arts faculty continue to create and share extraordinary work that constantly raises the bar for excellence, enriches the entire UVA community, and creates unique pathways into the professional world.
In this issue, we are delighted to share with you the story of Mona Kasra and her former UVA colleague Peter Bussigel and their Institute for Interanimation, a dynamic celebration of creativity in this modern age. It brought students from across Grounds together to put on an interactive arts experience that won’t soon be forgotten and will likely serve as a launching pad for future performances.
We’ll take a look back to the momentous Bicentennial Launch Celebration with the story of composer J. Todd Frazier, whose original composition We Hold These Truths served as a stirring opening by putting the words of Thomas Jefferson to music, and set the stage for the remarkable evening that followed.
We will look at the unique power of the Arts not only to celebrate, but to provide us a platform to remember, to understand and to heal in the wake of the tragic events of last August in Charlottesville. Across our Arts Grounds we saw powerful responses that taught us so much about how to look back and move forward in what are difficult times for our community, our area, and our nation.
Finally, all of us in the UVA Arts community are saddened by the loss of David Weiss, whose extraordinary talent and unmatched devotion to the UVA Drama Department served as an inspiration to generations of students and colleagues he supported and inspired. David’s role in founding the Heritage Theatre Festival and in shepherding the process of designing and building the Drama building on Culbreth Road, will serve as lasting legacies, and we will be forever grateful for all he gave to the Arts at UVA.