Campus News

UGA Spotlight on the Arts festival to return Nov. 6-14

Spotlight on the Arts logo 2014-sq

Book lovers, film and theater buffs, tech geeks and devotees to music—from baroque to rock and roll—can find something to love at this year’s Spotlight on the Arts festival, presented by the UGA Arts Council.

The nine-day festival, set for Nov. 6-14, features a Tony Award-winning playwright, a Grammy Award-winning soprano, art-making robots and a music composition performed on Google Glass among the more than 60 events on tap.

The offerings include guest performances by British baroque quartet Red Priest, the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and five-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Kathleen Battle, as well as UGA Opera Theatre presentations of “Hansel and Gretel” and University Theatre productions of “The Great Gatsby.” The 2014 Spotlight on the Arts festival also includes events featuring Academy and Tony award-winning playwright Alfred Uhry, who will be inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

One of the most buzzed about events is the free Spotlight • Slingshot concert on College Square, which features five bands, including an orchestrated performance of 1970s band Big Star’s legendary “Third” album.

“Each year, the Spotlight on the Arts festival shines a light on the breadth and the quality of arts programming at the University of Georgia,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “This year’s festival truly offers something for everyone, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet.”

Now in its third year, the Spotlight on the Arts festival is an annual showcase for UGA’s offerings in visual, literary and performing arts. Last year, more than 15,000 people participated in Spotlight on the Arts events, ranging from film festivals to open dance classes.

The festival gives students and members of the community additional opportunities to participate in tours of the Georgia Museum of Art, led by the museum’s leaders, attend poetry readings and book talks, as well as see dramatic performances. Exhibits range from pottery and paintings to relics from the early days of Athens’ music scene. 

In addition to the Nov. 12 Google Glass performance of “Adwords/Edward” commissioned by Cynthia Johnston Turner, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music’s new professor of conducting and director of bands, the festival highlights the age of technology in an event giving the public the opportunity to experiment with art-making machines called Artbots Nov. 12-14.

UGA’s Athens campus will be the perfect place for music devotees, with performances by the UGA jazz band, symphonic band and wind ensemble, as well as the young choreographer series and a performance sampler from the department of dance and other events.

And book lovers will have a chance to hear from award-winning writers. In addition to a stop on the Georgia Poetry Circuit with a reading from Sholeh Wolpe on Nov. 7, poet C.S. Giscombe will headline two events Nov. 13 as part of the Ballew Lecture Series.

The festivities will include the induction of three authors—Alfred Uhry, Olive Ann Burns and Mary Hood—into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame on Nov. 10. In celebration, the UGA department of theatre and film studies will present a staged reading of Uhry’s Tony Award-winning play “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” the day before the ceremony, and Uhry, who also wrote “Driving Miss Daisy,” and Hood will participate in a panel discussion. Irish actor Barry McGovern will present a reading Nov. 10 from the prose, poetry and letters of Samuel Beckett.

In addition to performances of “The Great Gatsby” throughout the festival, several documentaries are on the schedule, including a look back at the storied Iron Horse Nov. 7. Film fans can also enjoy a Nov. 11 Peabody Decades examination of cops, crime and mystery radio and television programs and a Nov. 14 roundtable discussion on the modern comic book/superhero movie.

Art admirers have ample opportunity to participate in special tours at the Georgia Museum of Art—including one led by director William Eiland—and to hear from artists and enjoy other special events. A Nov. 14 art opening reception at the Lamar Dodd School of Art also will be a popular event, featuring work from students completing their bachelor of fine arts degrees.

Children can participate in the Saturday Morning Club’s Saxophone Extravaganza at the Performing Arts Center or in a “Happy Birthday, GMOA!” celebration at the Georgia Museum of Art on Nov. 8. The family fare also includes the UGA Community Music School’s Instrumental Petting Zoo that day.

Many of the performances are free or discounted for students. Events presented by the Performing Arts Center, dance department, Hugh Hodgson School of Music and University Theatre are available for purchase online at, at the box office or by phone at 706-542-4400 (toll free at 888-289-8497).

More information on the 2014 Spotlight on the Arts festival, including the complete schedule of events, can be found at as well as on the Arts Council Facebook page ( and Twitter feed (@UGA_arts).

Members of the UGA Arts Council include representatives from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Creative Writing Program, the department of dance, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Georgia Museum of Art, The Georgia Review, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, the Lamar Dodd School of Art, Performing Arts Center, Special Collections Libraries, the department of theatre and film studies, the UGA Press and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.