Apr. 6, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

I hope this message finds all of you doing well. I am going to begin this week’s message by sharing a personal story. In the last few days, as I was investigating the ways in which cultural organizations are contributing to society in this time of remote living, I came across the “Boston Symphony Orchestra at Home.”  This is a multi-week series of recorded concerts from the past, unearthed from the BSO’s archives. I selected a couple of J.S. Bach concerts from the 1950s. This listening experience had profound resonance for me and brought back precious memories.  As it happens, listening to the BSO in the 1950s was actually my first experience in the arts. When I was a young child during that period, my parents used to take my sister and me to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, to hear rehearsals. As I listened this week to the concerts recorded all of those years ago, I vividly recalled the elegant and distinctive symphonic sound of that time -- my first musical encounter. I sat and cried. My tears were of deep gratitude for my life as a musician, a life in the arts and the chance to be here at UNLV, working with all of you. I feel so privileged.

In my message last week I pondered how we can make meaning of this strange time in which we live. Perhaps it is most important to find joy in our shared humanity and remember all of the good we can do in our current circumstances because we are alive, making art, thinking about art as an essential part of life and the soul of society, and preparing our students to be vital and visionary 21st century artists and architects. I believe that finding meaning in this crisis now and in the challenging weeks ahead can keep us strong and resilient. I am confident that the College of Fine Arts will be poised to use this experience in a positive way when it is time to turn the page to post-pandemic life – whatever the new era brings us.

My thoughts are with all of you.

Warmest wishes,

Nancy J. Uscher