UCF Celebrates the Arts throughout the year

Opening reception for UCF Celebrates the Arts
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
, Downtown Orlando
April 10, 2015


elcome, everyone. Tonight, the curtain goes up on a milestone premier festival for your hometown university and for all of Central Florida. I hope you are ready to be awed by our talented UCF students and their faculty advisors, because, friends, they are ready for you!

At this year’s celebration, more than 1,000 of our students will showcase their abilities in this beautiful Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. You might think you know about theater, film, dance, digital media, and animation at UCF … or about our music … or about our fine arts. But, as you will discover, you don’t know the half of it when it comes to the creativity at UCF!

The arts have much to teach us. They help us to understand social situations outside our experience, and to sympathize with human behavior that is foreign to us. They also provide us with insight into our own experiences and motivations.

Here's a video with more on how our students prepared to entertain you this week.

UCF prides itself on being America’s leading partnership university, and this grand, inaugural UCF Celebrates the Arts festival is made possible by the generosity of our partners. Thanks to

  • The Ginsburg Family Foundation,
  • Transdev,
  • Florida Blue,
  • Rita and John Lowndes,
  • Frank Santos and Dan Dantin [DAN-tin],
  • Herman Miller Cares and Workscapes Design,
  • Baker Barrios Architects,
  • and Judy and David Albertson.

And a big Knights thank you to the UCF Celebrates the Arts Advisory Committee and to Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Office for their efforts. Let’s show all these supporters our appreciation.

The arts have much to teach us. They help us to understand social situations outside our experience, and to sympathize with human behavior that is foreign to us. They also provide us with insight into our own experiences and motivations.

When I arrived at UCF in 1992, I championed the importance of the university in supporting the arts. In my inaugural address, I said that “we see UCF as a vital cultural resource . . . for all of Central Florida.”

Over the years, this commitment to supporting the artistic life of our community has led UCF to play a significant role in the success of our partners:

  • the Orlando Shakespeare Theater,
  • the Orlando Repertory Theatre,
  • the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra,
  • the Orlando Museum of Art,
  • the Florida Film Festival,
  • the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Volusia County,
  • and the Arts and Algorithms Festival in Brevard County.

Several of these partners are featured with our students during this celebration. In supporting the arts, UCF also bolsters a key driver of economic prosperity in our state and in our region.

According to the Florida Creative Industries Profile, Florida is home to nearly 30,000 nonprofit and for-profit creative-industry businesses. These businesses employ more than 367,000 people and generate nearly $50 billion in annual revenues. And our seven-county Orlando region is a hub for creative industries and innovation with more than 7,000 related businesses.

Statewide and locally, these businesses can count on UCF to provide the highly skilled talent you will see at this celebration.

In downtown Orlando, for instance, our nationally acclaimed Center for Emerging Media hosts a diverse faculty, students, and industry professionals.

They collaborate in a creative high-tech environment to advance the digital arts for our growing innovation economy.

As UCF pursues an iconic new campus in downtown Orlando, we aim to enhance our community’s dynamic arts economy by expanding programs, student internships, and business relationships.

Meanwhile, our graduates work on some of the most innovative projects at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. UCF grads also

  • shine on Broadway,
  • perform at the Oscars,
  • create and design society’s most popular video games,
  • tour with the world’s top arts troupes,
  • exhibit in many top galleries,
  • and produce shows for stages and screens of all varieties around the globe.

At UCF, passion, inspiration, and creativity are always on stage. So come catch our shows, our performances, and our exhibits. Engage with our student performers and artists and our faculty members.

And please consider helping us to expand our scholarships, programs, and facilities to provide greater support for our robust creative industries in Central Florida.

It’s nearly time for tonight’s performance of Icarus at the Edge of Time, with our distinguished guests Brian Green and Kate Mulgrew.

First, please join me in welcoming Jeff Moore, director of the UCF School of Performing Arts, for some important details about this evening and the celebration.


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