Music, drama, art and poetry will enliven the University of Georgia campus during the first UGA Arts Festival, a four-day celebration to be held Sept. 4-7 at the Performing and Visual Arts Complex to coincide with the dedication of the new Lamar Dodd School of Art building.
The festival will feature numerous performances and exhibitions, all open free to the public. Featured events include a performance of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s award-winning comedy Art and readings by internationally known poet and translator Coleman Barks. Also on hand will be the Amadeus Trio as part of the Franklin College Chamber Music Series.
“The arts are so important to all of us and especially at the University of Georgia,” said Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, one of the sponsors of the event. “The UGA Arts Festival is an invitation to the Athens community that I believe will dramatically focus our attention on just how rich and varied arts are on campus.”
The festival kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 2 p.m. with the dedication of the new $40 million building for the Lamar Dodd School of Art on East Campus. The school, founded in 1937, is one of the largest university art programs in the nation. The more than 1,000 art majors study such areas as studio art, design, art education and art history.
“The Arts Festival will display both the outstanding facilities that have been developed for the visual and performing arts on East Campus and the achievements of the talented artists on our faculty,” said Betty Jean Craige, director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, another sponsor of the Festival.“The festival will be a cornucopia of aesthetic treats—art exhibits and musical, theatrical and dance performances—that will show the community the pleasure and intellectual excitement that the University offers in the arts."
Also on Thursday, the Reza play will be performed by faculty from the department of theatre and film studies.
“UGA has tremendously rigorous and dynamic programs in all of the arts,” said David Saltz, head of the department of theatre and film studies. “It’s very rare that people—even faculty and students within the various art disciplines themselves—have a chance to see the scope of what’s happening here on campus.
“The opening of the new art building on East Campus is a perfect symbol of UGA’s commitment to education and research in all the arts.”
On Friday, Sept. 5, events will include an outdoor stage sponsored by UGA’s Music Business Program; performances by the CORE Concert Dance Company and the Amadeus Trio; and a reading, “Lion of the Heart,” performed by Coleman Barks, who will be accompanied by Art Rosenbaum, who is equally well known for his work as an artist and as a music folklorist. Barks is known worldwide as a poet and translator of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. Rosenbaum is a painter, muralist and illustrator, as well as a collector and performer of traditional American folk music. Both Barks and Rosenbaum are retired UGA faculty members.
The Willson Center will in addition present “Music for a Summer Afternoon,” featuring faculty members from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and there will be an opening receptions for exhibitions in the galleries of the Lamar Dodd School of Art as well an opening reception at the Georgia Museum of Art.
Georgia football will take center stage on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the UGA Bulldogs play Central Michigan in Sanford Stadium, and there will also be an open practice of the Redcoat Marching Band at 9 a.m. on Woodruff Field.
Sunday, Sept. 7, will be family arts day, featuring acting, art, dancing and music. The hands-on events this day include a “Beaux Arts Ball” community waltz class and an improv performance and workshop of Alex and the Backpack, one of several theatre, art, dance and music programs for children.
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