Arts and Humanities

Arts Everywhere Day honors reflection

Arts Everywhere Day will be returning on April 9. The annual event is a celebration of the arts that encourages the entire Carolina community to engage with diverse arts experiences and raise awareness of the breadth and depth of the arts at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Arts Everywhere: Arts Learning, Arts Engagement and Arts Experience

Look around Carolina, and you’ll notice that the arts are everywhere — on the basketball court mural outside Morrison Residence Hall, in the short story dispensers around campus and even online, where many student groups have been performing since the pandemic started.

The arts hold a prominent place in Carolina’s culture thanks, in part, to Arts Everywhere, a comprehensive initiative that supports arts organizations, departments and events. That mission is showcased each year during Arts Everywhere Day, which features interactive activities, special performances, art installations and exhibitions. It’s a chance for Tar Heels to create and engage with art.

This year’s Arts Everywhere Day will take place virtually on April 9.

“Above all else, it’s a celebration,” said Morgan Pestyk, a senior studying advertising and public relations and the Arts Everywhere digital marketing assistant. “We get to talk about the art, look at the art and engage with the art. It’s supposed to be a joyous event that’s a celebration of art in life, on Carolina’s campus and the community. I think this year we’re going to make it something truly unforgettable, and we’re going to work with what we’ve got. I want everyone to feel like they can feel that bit of joy for the day. That’s what April 9 is all about.”

Titled “Reflections: Within and Beyond,” the fifth annual Arts Everywhere Day revolves around the theme of reflection, especially for moments of solitude and solidarity. It will spotlight art that reflects the various experiences Tar Heels have had over the past year.

“In reflection work, we find a lot of solidarity and community, and I think that’s incredibly important for the arts, especially right now,” Pestyk said. “It’s especially important when we’re looking at arts outreach and encouraging creativity and curiosity within the community. Reflection is the first step for a lot of things and for moving forward.”

The celebration will look different from previous years due to the pandemic, with most programs being offered virtually, but there’s still a lot to look forward to.

“I’m excited to highlight arts experiences and the work that’s been done by our students and the student organizations, even during this very unusual time,” said Crystal Wu, the marketing and development communications manager for Arts Everywhere.

Wu is particularly enthusiastic for the music department and Arts Everywhere’s First Fridays concert series, which will host a livestreamed performance on April 9 featuring a string quartet of Carolina students performing the music of composers Florence Price and William Grant Still.

Madison Logan, a senior studying German and comparative literature and a student coordinator for Arts Everywhere, is looking forward to the Morrison Art Studio community art project, which the entire community is invited to help with.

“We’re having a virtual mural that everyone creates together, and it shows how people can still come together to make art, even in the pandemic,” said Logan. “Even through what’s going on in the world, the virtual mural gives a creative outlet that reflects the Carolina community.”

Although art is a critical part of daily life at Carolina, Arts Everywhere Day helps highlight and support the creation of the arts in a way that brings fresh attention to Tar Heels’ various creative outlets. The day demonstrates how the arts really are for everyone and presents new opportunities to connect through art so that even more people can participate.

“No matter if you have years of experience with the arts or zero experience with the arts, we all have creative potential inside of us,” said Wu.

To find out more, including the Arts Everywhere Day schedule, visit ArtsEverywhere.unc.edu.