UNA School of Arts hosts open house

By Student Writer Audrey Johnson

The School of the Arts celebrated its first open house in its off-campus office Sept. 7.

The new Steel Drum Band from the music department, Singing River Steel, played while guests enjoyed sidewalk chalk art and light refreshments.

“We wanted to have a voice the way that Athletics has a voice,” said Communication and Events Coordinator Vanessa Borelly Vega. “We have such strong and growing art programs, so we took theater, the growing art department and music.

The school of the arts is a branch of the college of arts and sciences and includes the departments of visual arts & design, music and theater

The purpose of the school of arts is to create a stronger voice for the arts. SAID?

“We combined the growing programs and now have them as a unified front as the UNA arts,” Vega said.

The idea for the school began two years ago as a way to promote freedom of expression, artistic endeavors and give any student the opportunity to explore and appreciate art disciples regardless of their major.

Executive director of the School of the Arts, Terrance D. Brown, explained that what began as talk between professors turned into reality to foster a deeper exploration of the arts.

“When we become afraid to explore, then there is no discovery, and then there is no learning,” Brown said.

Goals for the year include developing artist entrepreneurs, looking for new partners to the school and promoting its mission through Brown’s very own non-profit organization “Walk With Me.”

He said he seeks to help every student fulfill the school’s slogan: Ignite your Passion.

“You have to first define what [passion] is for you and what acts as the catalyst for getting you up in the morning?” Brown said. “We hope to be able to give people that fire to start whatever endeavor they want to, and keep with it until they finish the course that they want to, and then move on to the next thing.”

For junior vocal performance major Meghan Raney, this philosophy attracted her to the college of arts and sciences and now the school of the arts.

“Everyone is so welcoming. Everyone’s like a family,” said Raney. “It’s an environment that’s so conducive to growth.”

Upcoming Performances include Macbeth, and It’s a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play. This year’s opera, The House without a Christmas Tree, will be the first performance by any university.

The school will screen the Rocky Horror Picture Show Oct. 30 in Norton Auditorium. This event will include a costume contest.

On May 17, the school of arts will present a conference called I2E2: Ignite, Inspire, Educate, Engage, to promote equity and access in the arts.

Music events, gallery exhibitions, fashion merchanting and design events and culinary arts events will continue all year.

To keep up with events, students can subscribe to the school of art’s weekly newsletter, or follow on Instagram and Facebook @unasota, and Twitter @una_sota.