Commission on the Fine and Performing Arts
May 16, 2000
Attending: Bob Chapel (Chair), Marcia Day Childress, Dean Dass, Johanna Drucker, Jane
Ford, Joan Fry, Sandy German, Larry Goedde, Jeff Hantman, Jill Hartz, Richard Herskowitz,
LaVahn Hoh, Laurie Kelsh, Judith Kinnard, Phyllis Leffler, Jane Penner, Clo Phillips,
George Sampson, James Scales, Judith Shatin, Bill Sublette, and Beth Sutton.
October 1 is the goal for submitting the commissions final report. A draft report
will circulate for comments by September 5. The four commissions final reports are
to have three parts: the case for investing in the arts with references to benchmarking
and gap analysis, a vision statement for the arts as a whole at UVA, and a five-year
strategic plan to begin implementing the vision. The reports could be disseminated
directly to the President, or they could go first to the deans and those most affected to
vet and to gain support. Either way, the reports will need acceptance and support within
the University. Short versions of the reports will include case statements to attract
potential donors. The formal work of the arts commission will end when the final report is
submitted, but the smaller sub-groups will carry their projects through to completion.
The state has allocated $9 million towards building the new studio art facility and
$400 thousand for planning the renovation of Fayerweather Hall for art history. Planning
gifts are in place for drama, music, the museum, and the performance hall. A single
feasibility study will cover the remaining precinct projects.
Mr. Chapel envisions the proposed UVA arts council to be unlike the strong Cornell
model, but more authoritative than the Newcomb Hall arts planning group. Mr. Chapel and
the commission members believe the fine and performing arts are best taught in concert
with the liberal arts at UVA and should remain part of the College of Arts and Sciences,
rather than part of a new school of fine and performing arts. The commission report will
say that the arts are a vital component of the College of Arts and Sciences and a solid
link to other entities at the University, especially to the School of Architecture and to
the University Art Museum. The report will also stress developing highly interdisciplinary
Advertisements have been posted to select an architect for the studio arts building and
to select a landscape architect to create a landscape design for the entire arts precinct.
The hope is that the Board can vote in July on the architects recommended for these
positions. An error in Inside UV stated the projected capacity for the performing arts
center as 15,000. The correct figure is 1500.
The sub-committee planning the ArtSems needs a theme for the seminars, a timetable, and
a coordinator for the ArtSems project.
Funds are in place for arts publications, including a pullout supplement on the arts to
be inserted into the College of Arts and Sciences magazine. The supplement will also be a
stand-alone publication. Publication funds will also pay for improving arts department
newsletters and making them more consistent in design.
The subcommittee on outreach to high schools recommends investing $2,500 to purchase
names of 10,000 students who intend to study the arts, and they recommend establishing a
fund to help departments recruit the best undergraduate students. They also recommend
improving the information available to potential arts students and working with admissions
to reevaluate admissions criteria for arts students. The subcommittee members propose that
45 entering freshmen be admitted to arts departments (30 in-state and 15 out-of-state, the
same ratio as the undergraduate student body as a whole). And the sub-committee recommends
establishing an honors program for arts students similar to the Rodman Scholars program in
the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The campaign for the arts (excluding the value of John Kluges gift of Australian
Aboriginal art) exceeded its $15 million goal in March.
The Program in Media Studies will start in the fall (see the web site:
www.virginia.edu/ mediastudies/). A prospective donor will make a gift in support of
creating a poetry center if the University can demonstrate a strong commitment to creative
The remaining discussions briefly covered several topics: the suggestion that the
technology subcommittee be renamed the digital arts subcommittee; a new publication called
64 Magazine, should be a valuable vehicle for promoting the arts at UVA; next falls
film festival, will be called "Animal Attractions;" and Heritage Repertory
Theatres summer season will include Carousel, Picnic, Same Time Next Year,
Aint Misbehavin, and Youre a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Joan Fry May 23, 2000