Christal Brown teaching
Ailyn Pitt '22 BFA Studio Arts

Ailyn Pitt BFA Studio Arts

Ailyn Pitt believes in the healing power of art both through creating it and by experiencing it.

Pitt is the mastermind behind “Art’s Way Out,” a YouTube channel that provides a space for artists to talk about their purpose and their motivation behind the art form they are representing:

“When you look at a painting or sculpture or listen to music or see a play, we see the work but we don’t always know the artists’ motivations. There’s a whole person with feelings behind the work. I wanted to get to know the people.”

From early on, Pitt loved to draw, and during high school, she discovered an interest in psychology. She had been accepted into several universities, but finances were a real issue. UNCG offered her a Guarantee Scholarship, a selective scholarship for high-achieving, low-income students:

“I really wanted to come to UNCG, but I knew that for my parents, for my family, I really needed to go where I was offered the most scholarship support. I was excited and honored when the UNCG Guarantee came through. And, it wasn’t just financial aid—the Guarantee doesn’t just give you the funding and walk away. There’s a whole support system with retreats, workshops, and job opportunities.”

Pitt entered UNCG as a psychology major but in her sophomore year, she knew she needed to listen to her heart:  (more…)

Emilee Fann '22 BA Arts Administration

Emilee Fann ’22 BA Arts Administration

Emilee Fann saw herself living a life in the arts but wasn’t quite sure what form that would take until she got to UNCG:

“I’d heard that UNCG had a great Theatre Education program, so I transferred here and that’s where I started. From that point, it was a matter of trial and error to find my exact place in the arts. I tried a lot of different things. I worked backstage. I did costuming and props. I took some acting classes.”

She was talking with another student about all the things she loved to do, and he pointed her in the direction of Arts Administration:

“The Arts Administration program has a huge variety of class offerings. Because it’s a program with such a wide range, everyone is required to have a minor. And this is where it gets really interesting. You have people who are minoring in the arts, but there are also people who are minoring in areas from across the University, so you get this great, big perspective outside of your own.The whole program is like an open conversation, and it opens doors to learning so many things.”

Fann says it was that 30,000 feet view of the arts with the ability to personalize her experience that made Arts Administration the right degree track for her:   (more…)

Photo of Brianca Robinson '22 BFA Drama: Design and Technical Production

Brianca Robinson ’22 BFA – Drama: Design and Technical Production

Brianca Robinson has a style that she is ready to share with the world. While earning a BFA in Drama: Design and Technical Production at UNCG, Robinson focused on costume design:

“Creating costumes is a big part of helping an actor create a role. It’s the clothing and those nuances like accessories and hairstyles that allow the actor to develop the character further. An actor finally feels like they’re becoming the character once they put on that costume.”

Robinson started out studying filmmaking but decided that wasn’t exactly the path she wanted to pursue, so she transferred to CVPA’s School of Theatre. She had performed in shows during high school and decided to try her hand at production:

“The program here allowed me to combine different aspects of who I am, which was gratifying. I was able to use my acting, my drawing, and my directing. I really love the costuming process, but I still want to act and direct at some point. The classes I have taken have set me up to do all of that. Classes like Acting I, Directing, and Play Analysis helped shape me and prepared me for doing a lot of things because now my viewpoint and experience are so wide.”

Robinson credits the faculty with teaching her more than stagecrafts:

“I feel like the professors here were just what I needed. They allowed me to be a student first, and they really nurtured my ability to grow and develop then allowed me to become the professional I knew I could be. Professor Clare Parker teaches costuming, and she really helped me hone in and get detailed on my craft. Even when my class with her was over, she was happy to look over my portfolio. Josh Purvis’s acting class really helped me understand the actor’s perspective and that of the playwright. A script is the blueprint, and it’s important to treat the playwright’s intention with such care.”  (more…)

Headshot of Shayla Taylor '20 BFA Dance

Alumna Returns to UNCG with Dance Company Urban Bush Women

When Urban Bush Women comes to campus this week, School of Dance Alumna Shayla Taylor (‘20 BFA Dance: Choreography and Performance) will be with them. Taylor is an apprentice with the company known for weaving contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora.

The performance on Friday, October 14th coincides with UNCG’s homecoming.  Taylor says she’s thrilled to be back at her alma mater—a school she almost didn’t attend:

“I’m from Baton Rouge, and I just always thought I’d stay there. I had only applied to schools in Louisiana, but my sister had gone to UNCG and she kept saying I should too because they had a good dance program. My sister’s not a dancer, so I really didn’t think she knew about that! Plus, I wasn’t even sure I was going to major in dance. But at the very last minute I decided to take a big leap of faith and a big move from home. It was the best decision I could ever have made.”

When she arrived at the Coleman Building for her very first class, Taylor says she was excited but nervous:

“I still wasn’t sure there was a place for me in the world of dance, even though I had danced my whole life. So, I felt a little scared when I walked into the building and past this woman wearing slippers and this long, dramatic scarf. The woman called out ‘Hello Shayla, we’re so glad you’re here!’ When I got to my class, I asked some of the other students if they knew who that woman was and they told me it was the School Director Janet Lilly. It was at that point, I felt a sense of comfort. I knew then that I wasn’t going to be kind of just another student tossed into a program and lost.” (more…)