It is my pleasure to welcome our community back for the Spring 2021 semester! It is a very unusual time in our world. Many of us have been deeply affected by the terrible losses of family and friends from the devastation of the pandemic. Our country is on the cusp of a leadership transition and a new administration in Washington D.C. We are concerned about safety, both regarding Covid-19 and the recent violence in our nation’s capital. Yet there is the hope of vaccination and of life gradually returning to a new normal over the next year, or perhaps a bit longer. The values of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusivity are foremost on our minds as educators and citizens of UNLV and the global community.
The College of Fine Arts has much to celebrate as we begin spring semester. We have new partnerships, exciting performances, productions and exhibitions, research forums, visiting artist projects and all kinds of events taking place over the next few months. We are introducing the second season of UNLV Arts Worldwide over the college’s YouTube channel later in January. As always, we continue to think innovatively and boldly about artmaking and how to provide a stellar and distinctive education for our students. We have just launched a Maverick Ideas Fund for the college. Our Hall of Fame will take place on April 13 and will include many special and deserving honorees.
Much of our work this semester will take place as it did in the fall, with a mix of on-line and in-person instruction in classes, laboratories, and studios. It is likely that our May 2021 graduation, like fall, will take place remotely, still observing the guidance of our public health professionals.
While the transition to a fully vibrant campus life experience will take time, the arts will continue to bring us together. Our role and responsibility in connecting UNLV to community is enormous and joyous. Right alongside athletics and other kinds of engagement, the College of Fine Arts and our activities are a critical “front door” for the university. The college is an engine of creativity for UNLV. I could not be prouder to be Dean of this amazing college. Thank you for all that you do! Yes, there will be challenges, and there always are, but together we can truly make an imprint on society. We can enhance lives and make a huge and profound difference in how people see possibility in the world.
I wish each one of you a meaningful, wonderful, and productive semester.