AUSTIN, Texas—Jennifer Job admits she knows little about music, very little about art and next to nothing about drama. That makes her the perfect person, she says, to initiate a new program encouraging University of Texas at Austin students to attend student productions of fine arts.
The Fine Arts Series program invites all students, especially those in residence halls, to attend student theater and opera productions and art exhibits free of charge. Afterward, discussions are held with free pizza provided by the dean of fine arts. At a recent drama production, for example, the entire cast — including the playwright, director, stage crew and actors — answered questions about creating and staging a play.
"We’ve learned a lot from these performances and discussions — most certainly about what went well and what didn’t go so well," said Job, a sophomore from Jasper majoring in the Plan II Honors Program and music. "I think the programs are important because as a singer, I know my friends didn’t initially want to come to my choir concerts."
Many students see the arts as something for "artsy" people, said Job. "Business majors don’t paint. Biology majors don’t go to the dance shows," she said. "This needs to change if there is going to be a market for the performing arts in the future. And, this needs to change if my generation is going to have a proper connection with the art that their peers make."
Job said college is a formative time and students in residence halls are in a prime position to become acquainted with these programs, especially since they are on campus and it’s easier to get to on-campus art venues. "If young Texans become interested in the arts now, they will be more likely to become season ticket holders and sponsors of art shows in the future — an asset both for them and for our state."
Accompanying photos available.
See also: University of Texas at Austin student features Bandera youth in special fine arts initiative and University of Texas at Austin fine art majors encourage other students to get interested in the arts