During 2020–2021, we operationalized several of the goals contained in our Strategic Plan, The Path Forward. This report summarizes what was accomplished during this first year. We actively worked to transform our students’ education and improve communication across the College. In the School of Art, the history faculty revised the three 100-level survey courses away from the periodization of white male artists to global connections. In the School of Dance, a curriculum in jazz dance was instituted, which celebrates the African roots of this distinctly American art form. In the School of Music, the theory faculty chose an underrepresented artist to feature in class content across courses, and the music education faculty launched a Jazz for Music Teachers course. Finally, the School of Theatre drafted and ratified a Theatrical Intimacy Policy to attend to not only intimate touch on stage but also the considerations of LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and other marginalized actors on stage. We surveyed students as to their communication preferences and planned for a weekly student newsletter. To enhance communication across the College, we completed a baseline survey of the faculty and staff, instituted two annual all-CVPA staff meetings, and planned for monthly meetings devoted to communication and recruitment.
In embracing diversity and inclusion, we instituted new faculty and staff search procedures. By training search committees on how to run an unbiased search and increasing the breadth and depth of applicant pools, we increased BIPOC faculty members from 16.10% to 17.64%. CVPA had four faculty searches, which resulted in the hiring of two BIPOC faculty members. We did not have any staff searches but were able to maintain our BIPOC staff (currently at 12%) over the course of the year. We increased funding for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access grants by 20% from $5,000 to $6,000 and expanded this faculty grant program to include staff and students. A subcommittee of the CVPA EDI Committee reviews these proposals, and the subcommittee includes faculty, staff, student, and University representatives.
In our goal to transform and be transformed by our community, we reached 13,043 people in the community through our 22 community engagement programs. These programs reached 143 different schools in North Carolina and involved 43 faculty members, 44 graduate students, and 413 undergraduates. These programs included Hear Our Voices: An Inclusive Celebration of Musical Theatre, the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program, an Evening with the Creative Class in Dance, and Greensboro Project Space (GPS)—the School of Art’s downtown gallery. During 2020–2021, GPS hosted 55 exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops, and community events, reaching 2,809 people. An advisory board was formed to guide and expand our College’s community engagement activities. We organized alumni engagement activities into a master plan of cities where we have significant numbers of alumni.
Our fourth goal is to transform our infrastructure to support our mission. We completed a CVPA-wide Facilities and Equipment Plan to help identify antiquated and potentially hazardous equipment. As a result, eight renovation projects were initiated with UNCG Facilities, ranging from replacing the rigging for the chandelier in the UNCG Auditorium to planning for a $10.5-million renovation of Taylor Theatre. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we successfully implemented BoxCast for College-wide streaming. The implementation of BoxCast in combination with a Zoom webinar license enabled us to hold 42 virtual events between August 2020 and April 2021 with a total attendance of 4,352. Included was a series of eight virtual masterclasses and talkbacks with luminaries in art, dance, music, and theatre. Despite the challenges of a pandemic and budget limitations, the College of Visual and Performing Arts made substantial progress on the goals contained in its 2020–2025 Strategic Plan, The Path Forward.