Sep 11, 2017
Community Engagement, UVA Arts

The Arts are central to enriching the residential experience at UVA, and the University’s Arts programs are also some of its strongest bridges to the community and the Commonwealth. This proposal seeks to increase the visibility of the Arts  by building on the production success of our weekly podcast & radio module “Arts on Grounds.”

This program, launched in September 2016, reaches UVA faculty, staff, and students, as well as members of the broader community in Charlottesville and beyond. Each week’s episode highlights some of the tremendous work in the Arts happening at the University, and serves to encourage listeners to attend and participate in UVA Arts events and opportunities. Each week during the 2017-18 academic year, the “Arts on Grounds” podcast & radio program will continue to feature a pre-recorded interview with a UVA faculty member or student about their arts project, exhibit, or event. Guests are drawn from all the departments connected to UVA Arts, and the show highlights 2-3 “don’t miss” events happening each week on Grounds.

“Arts on Grounds” is also distributed as a podcast via WTJU’s new podcast network Launched in January 2017, currently includes a dozen podcasts produced by UVA students and community members. “Arts on Grounds” brings weekly arts coverage to a younger, tech-savvy audience that’s plugged into podcast consumption. In its first six months, the “Arts on Grounds” radio module has met with considerable success. The program reaches more than 1,000 on-air listeners each week, and recognized it as one of “12 Community Radio Podcasts to Hear in 2017.” Click here to listen to recent episodes online.

That said, the podcast audience for “Arts on Grounds” still has room for improvement. During the 2017-18 academic year, we hope to grow that audience through a concerted digital advertising and promotions campaign geared toward UVA’s student population. In addition to advertising, we also plan to organize a podcast Cast Party Extravaganza for “Arts on Grounds” and WTJU’s podcast network. The Cast Party will be a live, in-person event in Fall 2017 aimed at UVA students. The event will be a variety show modeled on the live podcast festivals/parties that have been held by national podcast shows like “This American Life” and the podcast network We plan to include music, storytelling, and revelry of various sorts, involving student performers and producers from across UVA’s arts departments.

“Arts on Grounds” will impact students in at least three ways:

  • Program producers. WTJU will hire at least two student workers to produce this series, under the guidance of WTJU’s staff producer/editor. This will be a terrific opportunity for any student in the Arts who is interested in learning about and creating professional level public radio content.
  • Interview guests. Over the course of the 36-week run, we will likely interview at least a dozen UVA students for the program, providing them with a platform to share their stories and Arts projects with the University and surrounding communities.
  • Audience. With a more concerted publicity effort in 2017-18, this podcast (and fall event) could reach hundreds, or even thousands of students. In addition, the Cast Party Extravaganza in Fall 2017 should reach at least 100 student attendees.

“Arts on Grounds” will primarily impact the community as consumers / audience members. WTJU listeners in Charlottesville and beyond will continue to hear the stories of incredible and talented performers, creators, and scholars –in their own words. And in addition to the general edification of our listening audience, the radio program and podcast will also serve to promote UVA Arts events, bringing more community members to these events.

Check back for more information on this Arts Council-funded project’s unfolding timeline.

The Arts Council provides advocacy, advice, and support in the Arts at the University of Virginia. It strives to develop and strengthen the bonds of interest and participation among the Arts Departments, their associated programs,  and their alumni and friends; to advocate on their behalf; to advise and assist with communications; and to help raise funds in support of academic programs, facilities, and special events. Among its multitude of arts advocacy efforts, the Council awards annual Arts Council Grants. These grants have, and continue to play an instrumental role in a number of  residencies, workshops, project and research-based endeavors proposed across Arts Grounds annually. This series of articles will highlight each funded project and serve to inform the UVA community of their unique timelines, progress and outcome reports.

See all 2017-2018 Arts Council Grants Awarded Arts Council Logo