MURFREESBORO — Aficionados of the fine arts at Middle Tennessee State University have a new opportunity to show and share their love of both by becoming members of the MTSU Arts Patron Society for the 2015-16 season.
The university offers hundreds of visual and performing arts events to the public each year, most at no charge, but those MTSU art, dance, music and theatre offerings are not free to present.
Expenses add up quickly for performance licensing, equipment, paints and canvases, advertising, guest performers' fees and even the lumber and sequins necessary to produce the consistently professional caliber of each MTSU Arts event.
The university allocates funding to fine arts departments in the College of Liberal Arts like other colleges on campus, and more costs are alleviated by the incalculable volunteer work hours contributed by students, faculty and staff devoted to creating memorable MTSU Arts events.
"One of the outstanding advantages of living near a great university is the access the local community has to numerous high-quality music and dance concerts, plays and art exhibits. These opportunities enrich the culture of the entire community," said Dr. James "Jim" Brooks, former chair of the MTSU Department of Speech and Theatre. He and his wife, Rebecca, have supported the arts at MTSU for many years and were among the first MTSU Arts patrons.
Joining the MTSU Arts Patron Society for 2015-16 helps students in the university's performing and fine arts programs and gives members special access to exhibits, events, receptions and performances beyond the regular season's busy schedule.
All levels of donations are welcomed. Supporters who contribute $100 to $2,500 can receive perks that range from special event recognition and exclusive advance copies of the College of Liberal Arts' award-winning CLA Magazine to VIP tickets and a private dinner with university president Dr. Sidney A. McPhee. More details on each level of giving are available at the “Patrons Society” link at http://www.mtsuarts.com.
Using funds from MTSU Arts patrons, departments have been able to bring guest lecturers and artists into the classroom, help students travel to music education workshops, produce student-recorded music CDs and host an awards banquet for theater and dance students.
"MTSU’s Arts Patron Society is important because it gives members an avenue to express appreciation for this enrichment in the arts and to provide some additional financial support to further encourage and develop young artists and their faculty mentors," said Brooks, who also served as director of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts at MTSU from 1995 to 2000.
"We joined the society as soon as it was established, and we have enjoyed seeing the membership grow.”
This upcoming season, which begins in August with the university's 2015-16 academic year, features unique arts opportunities almost daily. The season’s events include a special exhibit at the Todd Gallery, "Still Life: The Art of Moonshine," MTSU Theatre’s presentations of “Uncle Vanya” and “West Side Story” and the Tennessee Jazz Collective’s performance of “The Jazz Nutcracker.”
The deadline for joining the MTSU Arts Patron Society for the 2015-16 season is Monday, Aug. 31, but donations and memberships are accepted year-round.
Learn more about MTSU Arts events anytime at http://www.mtsuarts.com. The website includes more details about the Patron Society, a calendar of MTSU Arts events and ticket information by clicking the appropriate box on the left side of the Web page. You can also call 615-898-5223.