Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

UCF Marks Ten Years of Creativity With Annual Arts Festival in Early April

Visual Arts and Design students work on 3D sculptures for the 2024 festival. Image Courtesy: UCF Celebrates the Arts (Marketing Team)

From April 3 through April 14, UCF celebrated a decade of artistry with its annual festival “UCF Celebrates the Arts”. The event showcases artistic performances, exhibitions, and presentations for the Central Florida community at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The University of Central Florida has presented its festival every year since 2015 to promote the creativity and innovative skills of the university’s students, faculty, and alumni. Through the years, UCF not only collaborated with local community artists, but also with worldwide artists such as composers Hans Zimmer and Patrick Doyle, author Emily St. John Mandel, actress Kate Mulgrew, and more. 

“UCF Celebrates the Arts” highlights arts, history, and technology, inviting guests of all ages to attend and celebrate the cultural landscape of Central Florida. Heather Gibson, Director of Communications and Marketing at UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities, highlighted the importance of the festival for the community. “Over the last ten years, it’s really grown into being a big cultural touch point of the Central Florida arts calendar, and we see about a thousand artists walk across the stages or participate in the exhibitions every year,” Gibson stated.

In 2024, “UCF Celebrates the Arts” amplified the cultural scene in the community by bringing the festival to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, famous for world-class performances and located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. 

“This year, we have 35 events and half of them are free. We have student discounts for most events that have paid tickets and others that are about 10 or 15 dollars. The goal of this has always been to make sure that everybody can come to see an event at Dr. Phillips Center,” Gibson shared. 

Creative Clash: Students and alumni working together to complete large-format drawings.
Image Courtesy: UCF Celebrates the Arts (Marketing Team)

The festival displays interdisciplinary exhibitions with students and faculty from different departments collaborating for the success of the event. Dr. Keri Watson, Professor of Art History at the University of Central Florida, shared her perspective from this year’s festival. “It really brings all of the disciplines and all of the areas of the College of Arts and Humanities together in a wonderful way,” she stated.  

The event is proud of being accessible and having inclusive themes in the program. This year, “UCF Celebrates the Arts” brought the award-winning poet Ilya Kaminsky for a poetry reading of his book “Deaf Republic”. The Florida Prison Education Project led by Dr. Watson talked about incarcerated people, and the problems that can impact these people’s lives. “All of those programs really engage with those issues in positive, transformative and meaningful ways,” Dr. Watson remarked.

“UCF Celebrates the Arts” offers valuable opportunities for students to grow academically and professionally. Ayana Yokie, a UCF senior and Deck Stage Manager on this year’s production of “Sweeney Todd”, shared how the students can work in a variety of positions in the festival, collaborating with students and faculty of different departments. Yokie encourages students to participate in the festival, stressing the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and taking advantage of resources to enhance their academic and professional development. “For audience members, it’s about experiencing the art, but for students it’s about learning and watching from the other side of the festival be put together. Take the risk and ask to be a part of it.”

The festival is a good opportunity for students in Central Florida and the community to enjoy great art with many programs that are free or affordable. Make sure to check out next year’s festival. 

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    MarienneApr 22, 2024 at 4:57 pm