At the University of Virginia, we strive to make the world a better place through our commitment to the ideal of creating engaged citizens. We embrace a spirit of innovation and creativity and encourage new ideas to be tested. These values are at the heart of UVA Arts as we foster experimentation, creativity, and imagination.
In the past months, the COVID-19 health crisis has swept across our University, our communities, our country, and throughout the world, leaving a devastating physical and financial impact on many. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the members of the University community. While we know our community is relying on us to lead the way in ensuring public safety, we also understand this priority will cause significant financial losses across the University, including UVA Arts.
With the sudden and necessary cancellation of in-person classes due to social distancing guidelines, the University saw the introduction of over 4,200 virtual courses in just seven days. We have also seen the cancellation of performances, exhibitions, and concerts, which make the fabric of our University and the greater community so vibrant and inclusive. Our arts units and organizations have responded with online content to support and engage faculty, students, visitors, and our loyal audiences. But they have also lost revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, and philanthropic support due to cancellations and the economic downturn. On top of this, we are unsure of when we will once again be able to gather safely, a situation that makes planning and financial forecasting highly uncertain.
In addition to the pandemic health crisis, we recognize this is a challenging time for our country, and we understand that not all can provide financial support for the arts at UVA during these turbulent times. But if you are able, please know your gift will advance educational and programming excellence and ensure cultural activities and facilities are accessible to students, our University community, Charlottesville, and beyond.
As has been made abundantly clear during the pandemic, the arts are what communities collectively seek in times of crisis for comfort, stability, and perspective. Throughout these uncertain times, UVA has turned to the arts to connect and communicate, as well as to make meaning out of lived or observed experiences. Illustrating this very fact are the digital editions of Arts on the Hill. Jointly spearheaded by the Offices of the President, Provost, and Vice Provost for the Arts, Arts on the Hill highlights many of our incredible artists and supporters who embraced the arts when social distancing.
A gift to UVA Arts will directly impact the vibrant artistic landscape at the University of Virginia where it is most needed during these uncertain times. And remember, when we do emerge from this current situation and can once again gather, it will be the arts that heal and unite us.
With gratitude and thanks,
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director of the Virginia Film Festival