From mainstage plays to large music ensemble concerts and art exhibitions to visiting artist lectures and student recitals, the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts’ 800-plus students and 100 faculty members present hundreds of events throughout the year. From September through April, the College will host The Curiosity Series, 25 events that are a chance for fans of one genre of music to listen to another or to attend a lecture on an arts topic that holds interest for them.
“We know that people are curious about the arts, but we also know that the arts can be intimidating so people typically stick to what they know,” said Keith Jackson, interim dean. “People know what to expect at a rock show – they may not know what to expect at a wind symphony concert or a visiting artist lecture, so they shy away from attending. We want our community members to have an open mind and try something they have been curious about.”
The Curiosity Series will kick off on Sept. 6 with the Pacifica Quartet. Recognized for their virtuosity, exuberant performance style and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The event is also part of the Canady Chamber Series, sponsored by the Canady Family to promote live music education.
Other events in the Curiosity Series include semi-annual pottery sales from the WVU Ceramics program, concerts from the WVU Symphony Orchestra, a show by famed bluegrass musicians Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out and performances of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
“This is really just the tip of the iceberg for events at the College of Creative Arts. The Curiosity Series is multi-faceted in that it will not only teach you about art, but about issues and concerns in our society,” Jackson said. “Many of the featured performances and exhibitions have underlying themes about social justice, gender and identity issues and other cultural issues. You should leave our events with more questions than when you arrived.”
The series got its name as an ode to one of the five main values of the University. WVU believes in curiosity – as well as service, respect, accountability and appreciation – and challenges its community to use their curiosity to ask questions, seek new opportunities and change through innovation.
Free and ticketed events make up the Curiosity Series to insure access to the arts for everyone. Free events are seated on a first-come-first-served basis. Tickets for ticketed events are available on campus at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center Box Office locations (Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), by calling 304.293.SHOW (7469) and online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets for The Curiosity Series go on sale August 27. Special ticket pricing is available for children ages 18 and under, WVU students with valid ID and senior citizens age 65 and up. To inquire about group rates, email firstname.lastname@example.org.