College of Creative Arts’ new series offers manageable mix of events

MORGANTOWN — Throughout the year, WVU’s College of Creative Arts presents roughly 400 events. These range from recitals and concerts to art exhibits, lectures and plays.

“We have so many, that it can be overwhelming,” said Keith Jackson, the college’s interim dean.

“I try to go to everything,” he added. “One weekend my mother asked me if I was going to all the things in my building. And I told her, there are 30 things in my building. I just can’t.”

So in an effort to make things a bit more manageable for potential audience members, The Curiosity Series has been established. It features 25 events from September through April that give the community a taste of what the college has to offer.

Jackson and the directors of the college’s three schools, as well as the director of the university’s art museum, came together to choose a balanced mix of programs.

“We probably started sorting it out back in February or March,” he said. “We sat down and looked at what we wanted to present and looked at spacing, so you’ve got something happening every couple of weeks. … They’re all at different price points and some of them are free.”

The Curiosity Series kicks off Sept. 6 with the internationally recognized chamber ensemble Pacifica Quartet. The show, set for 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Theatre, is also part of the Canady Chamber Series, sponsored by the Canady Family to promote live music education.

Other events in the series include semi-annual pottery sales from the WVU Ceramics program, concerts from the WVU Symphony Orchestra, a show by famed bluegrass musicians Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out and performances of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

“The idea is to make it easier for people to explore,” Jackson said. “You might not love everything, but you may also find something and go ‘Wow, here’s the kind of thing I really enjoy. Now, I want to go to more of this.’ So someone who knows they like art may check out an orchestra concert they’ve never experienced before and find out they’re into it. That’s exactly the kind of thing we’re hoping for.”

Jackson said the college will take this year as an opportunity to create a baseline to see just how many people (not counting WVU students) attend events.

“Then, I would say for year two, we’re hoping for a 20 to 25 percent jump,” he said.

While Jackson anticipates tweaks, he said the series will continue for at least three years.

“We just want to reach as many folks as we can,” he said, “make sure we let them know all the great things we have going on.”

  • WVU’s College of Creative Arts Curiosity Series kicks off Sept. 6, with chamber ensemble Pacifica Quartet performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Theatre. Free and ticketed events make up the series, which runs September through April. Free events are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for ticketed events are available on campus at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center box office locations, by calling 304-293-SHOW (7469) and online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets for the series go on sale Monday. Special ticket pricing is available for children ages 18 and under, WVU students with valid ID and senior citizens age 65 and up. To inquire about group rates, email cac@mail.wvu.edu.
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