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     A Publication of THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
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September 27, 2001
Vol. 28, No. 11

Headlines:

Homepage

University responds to national tragedy

Fall enrollment total sets record high

University's innovative "artsreach" program builds new art, music audience

Address on the State of the University

New members of Academy of Distinguished Teachers, faculty honored

Diverse new committee to evaluate dean of students applicants

Remarks from the Memorial Ceremony

News Briefs

University student features Bandera youth in special fine arts initiative

Fine arts program invites students to attend shows, exhibits for free

Entrpreneur teams with university professors to found startup technology company

$390,000 Toyota USA grant doubles science training for K-12 teachers

Faculty Council

Dell vice president named chief financial officer at university

Ambassador credits education for success

Arete

$720,000 TIF grant awarded to university's General Libraries

Harley Clark remembers introduction of "Hook ''em Horns" spirit signal

Professors strive to shorten developmen times for engineering systems

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University's innovative "artsreach" program builds new audiences for art, music in remote areas of state

By Nancy Neff

A program where fine arts students take their creativity back into their Texas hometowns has been initiated by The University of Texas at Austin to build new audiences for art and music in remote areas of the state and to foster better relationships between artists and their constituencies.

The new "artsreach" program will allow students to establish residencies in their home communities and present overviews of their work. The selected students will come from non-urban areas of Texas and will be chosen from each of the fine arts academic units — art, art history, music, theater and dance. The University Co-op is providing the initial funding for the project.

"We want this program to have as wide a community impact as possible," said Dr. Robert Freeman, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "Students will work with local schools and school children, arts organizations, chamber of commerce associations and churches to develop new audiences for art and demonstrate the benefits and results of a fine arts education at the university.

"We must always remember that the arts aren't just for the people who are doing them or for the weathy — but for everyone," said Freeman. "The country is doing a good job supplying the art and the artists, but needs to work on developing audiences."

young woman in car
Photo by Marsha Miller
University of Texas at Austin student Jennifer Small's exhibition depicts life in the small Texas Hill Country town of Bandera.

The first residency will be a photography exhibition by University of Texas at Austin graduate art student Jennifer Small at the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera. The exhibit of photographs of area youth, who range in age from 13 to 25 years old years old, is titled "At Night/In Town." It will be on display through the end of November. Small already has had one of these photographs published in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Co-op is hosting a reception Nov. 16 for area elected state and local officials, representatives from the State Board of Education and others.

Small grew up in Houston but spent considerable time as a child in Bandera, where her grandparents operated the Trading Post dry goods store for nearly 60 years.

"My memories of the store are almost fairy-tale like — locals stopping in and hanging out all day," Small said. "Bandera didn't seem like such a small place because of the prominence of the store in the landscape of the town's social scene. I was lucky to have grown up in this atmosphere and locals still remember me and my father when I go back to town to take photographs."

Small said the opportunity to exhibit work, perform or engage the communities in small towns benefits both the artist and the community in helping to promote the understanding and appreciation of fine arts.

"It is an enormous honor to have been the first person chosen for this program," she said. "I applaud the intentions of Dean Freeman to promote the talent that UT has within the College of Fine Arts and agree that this will most certainly increase the audience for programs such as this."

Small hopes to lecture and possibly run a workshop about potential careers in photography and photojournalism with the students at Bandera High School.

"Now that the photographs have been published nationally and will be hanging in a gallery, there might be a sense that what once seemed banal is actually fascinating," Small said. "I would like to see the people in Bandera bring more shows like this to town. I hope that my exhibition provides a platform for this discussion to occur."

Later this fall, music student Cory Reeves will conduct the Corpus Christi Symphony in his hometown of Rockport. A program also may be planned in Jasper. Freeman hopes to have at least three students a year participate in the residency program.

"We are trying to teach the students at the university not only how to play the flute better or how to paint more beautifully, but how to develop constituencies for their own work," said Freeman. "This project will be good for the university and good for Texas."

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