Arts & Humanities Campus News

On-campus festival celebrates the arts

Dancers from the Young Choreographer’s Series perform in Tate Student Plaza during the Spotlight on the Arts. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

The 12th annual Spotlight on the Arts will feature a variety of events

The University of Georgia will feature the visual, performing and literary arts on campus with more than 60 events and exhibitions during its annual Spotlight on the Arts festival in November.

Highlights of the monthlong festival include a performance by seven-time Grammy Award-winner and twice Oscar-nominated film composer Terence Blanchard, a lecture by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, and a University Theatre production of “Mother Courage and Her Children.” Also featured are a student choreography performance by the department of dance and a night of fine opera by the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

Throughout the month, the Georgia Museum of Art will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with several special events including Family Day and Student Night. The Lamar Dodd School of Art will host its third annual Dodd Market on Nov. 17 showcasing the talent of more than 90 student artists and providing them with valuable selling experience.

“The Spotlight on the Arts festival calls attention to the enduring excellence in the arts and humanities at the University of Georgia,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “As one of the nation’s best public universities, UGA’s educational quality and learning environment is strengthened by the richness of our arts programming and scholarship.”

Many Spotlight events are free or discounted for students, and all are welcome. A complete schedule of events for Spotlight on the Arts 2023 is available at

This year’s festival begins on Nov. 1 with a mariachi performance from the Grammy-nominated ensemble Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernandez in celebration of Día de los Muertos. Other highlights of the first week include the induction of Pulitzer finalist Percival Everett into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame on Nov. 2 as well as performances by the UGA Women’s and Men’s Glee Clubs and the Faculty Jazz Ensemble.

The Georgia Museum of Art will celebrate its 75th anniversary and Spotlight on the Arts with Family Day from 1 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 with art activities for the entire family, prizes, a photo booth and more.

Throughout the day on Nov. 8, student groups will perform on the outdoor stage at Tate Plaza as part of Student Spotlight. This year’s performances range from classical guitar, poetry readings and dance to a capella groups, orchestra and theatre.

Featured at this event and others will be the 2023 Spotlight on the Arts design created by UGA advertising student Megan Montgomery, winner of the inaugural Spotlight Student Design Competition. Her design will be on the festival T-shirts as well as limited-edition giveaways that attendees will have a chance to win at various Spotlight events in November.

Student research in the arts takes center stage at the annual 4’33” Competition on Nov. 14. This contest provides students with a chance to share their creative inquiry with the university community.

Colson Whitehead, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of 11 books of fiction and nonfiction including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels “The Underground Railroad” and “The Nickel Boys,” will give a Signature Lecture at the University of Georgia Chapel on Nov. 15.

There will also be 11 ongoing exhibitions during Spotlight on the Arts hosted by the Georgia Museum of Art, the UGA Special Collections Libraries and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. From house party history in Athens and the legacy of Vince Dooley to augmented-reality installations by Nancy Baker Cahill and more than 100 works of art created in the American South, there will be plenty to explore.

Spotlight on the Arts is coordinated by the UGA Arts Council, a group representing the performing, visual and literary arts, as well as interdisciplinary academic units on campus.

“The 12th annual Spotlight on the Arts festival was made possible through the hard work and visionary leadership of the Arts Council members and schools, colleges and units across campus,” said Jeanette Taylor, the university’s vice provost for academic affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council. “My hope is that this outstanding lineup of events and exhibitions will inspire celebration and strengthen engagement with the arts at UGA throughout the year.”

Members of the UGA Arts Council include representatives from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, College of Environment and Design, creative writing program, department of dance, department of theatre and film studies, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Georgia Museum of Art, The Georgia Review, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Hugh Hodgson School of Music, UGA Arts Collaborative, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Mary Frances Early College of Education, Performing Arts Center, University of Georgia Press, UGA Libraries and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

To celebrate the arts and humanities at UGA beyond November, visit the events calendar on the Arts Council website. In March 2024, the UGA Humanities Council will present the second annual Humanities Festival highlighting the richness and diversity of research and practice in the humanities at UGA.