“Feeding your soul and spirit” with ArtsLIVE

Article written for Flyer News, published October 5, 2016

    With a variety of events at their fingertips, students are exposed to unique forms of education through performances, panels, and keynote speakers. One program students may not be familiar with is ArtsLIVE. Flyer News sat down with Eileen Carr, director of ArtsLIVE, to learn more about the program.

For over 50 years, ArtsLIVE has been entertaining students and the Dayton community by bringing outstanding professional artists from all over the world to UD’s campus. This series is designed specifically to make the best in the arts available to students. Notable artists such as jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, the dance company Ronald K.Brown/EVIDENCE, and the Kronos Quartet have brought their talents to Dayton for the community to enjoy.

Carr got involved with ArtsLIVE almost by accident. She is trained as an art historian and has worked in art museums throughout her life. After taking a break from working to have kids, she wanted to get back into working in the art field which lead her to where she is today. Even though she did not have experience in music, she had experience in managing art programming, so working on ArtsLIVE has been a great educational experience for her.

“It’s a great job. Really, it’s challenging, but really gratifying when you find students who will take a chance and attend a concert. They are usually surprised and happy” Carr said.

ArtsLIVE provides high quality entertainment on campus for a reasonably low price, which makes it easily available for anyone to attend. Each performer is considered a professional in their field. Countless performers have won awards for their work and make a living through performing. Carr looks at hundreds of artists as potential performers every year. She tends to pick younger, emerging performers who are still early in their career and have created a great reputation for themselves.

People might not recognize the artists at first glance because they aren’t “mainstream”, or students might assume ArtsLIVE is only interesting to an older crowd. ArtsLIVE tries to showcase these talents well so the entire community can find a new sense of richness for life.

“Students think ‘this is something for my parents’, but there is tremendous amount of vitality and variety in today’s music making” Carr said.

Not only is ArtsLIVE a performance, but there is a lecture component added onto it. This addition is fairly new and it adds another dimension to the performance from the audience’s perspective. ArtsLIVE explores important issues in our world, such as climate change, water, or making music itself. Performing music is looked upon as a given and is not usually questioned, but in other countries it is threatened and not easily accepted. The main goal for the lecture is to enhance the viewer’s understanding of the world, and how exactly they play a role within this world.

Carr wants students to walk into an ArtsLIVE performance with a curious, open mind and hopefully leave with a smile.

“You really have to be thoughtful about what you’re going to do with your time [at Dayton]…over the course of four years, you should come to at least one [performance]” Carr said.

So far this year, ArtsLIVE has showcased the Zorá String Quartet and Akropolis, a reed quintet. Both groups have won Fischoffs, the biggest chamber music competition in the world.

ArtsLIVE will be presenting Acqua Alta: A Scientific & Musical Exploration of Rising Waters on October 27. There will be a pre-concert lecture given by Dr. Ian Fenty on global sea level rise at 6 p.m. The concert will feature pianist Jenny Q. Chai at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 for students.

 To find out more information, visit ArtsLIVE’s facebook page: “ArtsLIVE at the University of Dayton” or check out their website: http://www.udayton.edu/artssciences/initiatives/artslive/index.php

Photo courtesy of ArtsLIVE udayton.edu

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