Campus News

Spotlight participation tops 23,000

From left, theatre students Brittney S. Harris, Anna Pieri (in front) and Melanie Sheahan perform a scene from The Last Witch, during Kaleidoscope: Spotlight on the Arts Opening Celebration. (Photo by Chad Osburn/UGA)

More than 23,000 people participated in the University of Georgia’s 2017 Spotlight on the Arts festival last month, and planning is already underway for the 2018 festival.

From Nov. 1-12, a total of 23,083 attendees participated in more than 100 events and exhibitions, expanding the festival’s reach to more than 120,000 since its inception in 2012.

“The response to the Spotlight on the Arts festival has been extraordinary, and it reflects the quality of the arts programs on our campus and the exemplary dedication of the members of the UGA Arts Council,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The 2017 festival featured performances from the University Theatre, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and department of dance, readings from creative writing program students as well as guest writers, special exhibitions and a popular open house at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Special guests included the Bumper Jacksons and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, music manager Michael Lehman, who discussed his career representing Gregg Allman, art historian Martha Lucy and interdisciplinary artist Clark Lunberry.

Other highlights included the second annual Family Day and the fourth annual 4 minutes, 33 seconds: Spotlight on Scholarship in the Arts competition, a signature Arts Council event where students present their scholarship and compete for prizes. Photography master’s student Ally Christmas received a prize of $433 as the winner of the oral competition, and poster ­competition winners, who received $150 prizes, included Madison Hogan, an undergraduate English major (clearest communication); Abigail Kosberg, a master’s student studying art history (most creative presentation); and
Marlon Burnley, a master’s acting student (most innovative research).

“The sixth annual Spotlight festival was a great success thanks to the dedicated faculty and staff and students from all across campus who contributed their time and talents,” said Russ Mumper, chair of the UGA Arts Council and vice provost for academic affairs.

Planning is underway for the 2018 Spotlight on the Arts festival, which is set for Nov. 1-11, 2018, and will include a national conference of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities hosted by UGA. The conference, which is expected to bring to campus several hundred students and faculty members from more than 40 research intensive universities, will revolve around the theme “Arts Environments: Design, Resilience and Sustainability.”

Information about arts events occurring throughout the year can be found at or by following UGA Arts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.