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Fine and Performing Arts Commission


Thursday, May 20, 1999


Attendees: Bob Chapel (Chair), Samantha Beer, Julian Connolly, Jim Cooper, Wayne Cozart, Joseph Cronin, Ed Davis, Joan Fry, George Garrett, Larry Goedde, Jill Hartz, Richard Herskowitz, Denise Karaoli, Marita McClymonds, Jane Penner, Maggie Piczak, Jack Robertson, George Sampson, William Sublette, and Beth Sutton.

Mr. Chapel reviewed the list of arts experts the departments have suggested inviting to the fall retreat. The initial list will be refined and invitations will go out shortly.

In sub-committee reports, Samantha Beer said that the student group discussions are on hold until the fall 1999 semester. Beth Sutton reported that community groups are generally positive about the proposal for an arts precinct at the University. Traffic is a consistent concern. Bill Sublette is recalculating the circulation and the costs of an all-arts publication and ancillary development publications to support fund raising for the project. Maintaining up-to-date address list is an ongoing challenge. Mr. Chapel described the recent meeting of the Arts Council as very positive and energetic. Peter Kellogg presented the results of his feasibility study for funding the arts precinct project. His research indicates fundraising success if the grand dream is whittled down to a realistic plan.

Maggie Piczak concluded her report on dance. Ms. Piczak discussed a dance program’s community benefits, required resources (facilities, theater, accompanist), sample curricula and schedules, a proposed operating budget, the national standards for arts education for grades 9-12, and standards of content. She also offered a list of local resources, web sites, and a list of existing dance programs (degrees, minors, certificates) in United States colleges and universities.

Jane Penner discussed the music library in the context of the overall mission and goals of the University of Virginia. The music library, in general, has an excellent collection. The main problems include dilapidated and inadequate facilities; deteriorating scores (texts); some gaps in the performance collection; too few monographs, audiovisual collections, and journal subscriptions in new scholarly specialties; and an inadequate budget for upgrading equipment and materials. The music library wants a modern building with state-of-the art climate control, well-designed space, more computers and peripherals, an improved performance collection, better integration of library instruction in course curricula, and more library resources, i.e., full-text databases of music journal articles.

Jack Robertson compared the Fiske-Kimball fine Arts Library with the fine arts libraries at UCLA, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The Fiske-Kimball collections are diverse and interdisciplinary, and its programs of instruction for using the library collections and public outreach are strong. The library serves faculty needs well. The library’s weaknesses include lack of space for teaching and studying, old and inadequate computers, too little money for databases and serial subscriptions, and the lack of a fundraising base. The arts have not been a top priority for fundraising. Mr. Robertson said that if the music library and the fine arts library were joined, Virginia’s would be the strongest in the country.

George Garrett, director of the Creative Writing program, described the history of the program. He attributed its great strength to the reputation and high visibility of its faculty and to the astounding publishing record of its alumni. It is the only creative writing program that is equally strong at the undergraduate and graduate levels. One major problem for the Creative Writing Program is tuition. Fellowship awards for entering students do not carry tuition waivers and are not enough to live on, so the program is losing good first-year students. A second problem is the shortage of funds to bring in visiting writers. Authors’ readings at the bookstore and the Festival of the Book have been helpful in promoting creative writing, writers, and the program in the community.

Mr. Chapel thanked the commission members for their for their work and their attendance throughout the semester, adjourned the commission until next fall.


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