UCTV Arts Channel: Connecting the Community with Rich, Cultural Programming


Universities, and the communities around them, offer a rich tapestry for the creation of cultural arts that bring people together and create thriving civic engagement.

In an effort to bring more front-row access to the performing arts, UCTV has launched a new Arts Channel that offers free access to all forms of creative expression, from dance, film, and music to theater, spoken word, and visual art.

UCTV Arts will be a robust, enriching home for creative and engaging cultural arts programming generated by faculty, students, staff, and affiliated partners from UC San Diego and UC campuses across the state.

"We will focus initially on UC San Diego's goal of being a destination for accessible, vibrant, and transformational arts and culture,” said Natalie Walsh, Executive Director of UCTV. “We'd like to partner with many of UC San Diego’s creative departments, including the Division of Extended Studies' Park and Market, The Stuart Collection, the School of Arts and Humanities, The Design Lab, ArtPower, Epstein Family Amphitheater, Craft Center, Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Mandeville Art Gallery, Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts, Cultural Centers, and La Jolla Playhouse.

Additionally, Walsh aims to collaborate with an array of community arts organizations, including the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, PLNU Writer’s Symposium, La Jolla Music Society, Old Globe, San Diego Opera, and Malashock Dance, as well as K-12 schools and the San Diego Library.

"Our long-term goal is to secure funding to commission and acquire cultural arts programming from across the UC system," she said.

UCTV Arts, which made its debut in Spring 2023, has roots in UCSD-TV, which, in 2000 launched UCTV as a service for all University of California campuses. Today, viewers can watch the channel 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. Last year, UCTV's videos were viewed over 60 million times; almost half of UCTV's viewers watch from outside of the U.S.

Combined, UCSD-TV and UCTV have created over 700 video series spanning 300 categories. Among the channel's most viewed videos include a performance of famous German composer Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorus and Alumni Chorus, and the Pacific Boychoir.

UCTV Arts will include a mix of new, original arts and cultural programs and those produced over UCSD-TV's 30-year history.

"We are excited to expand our programming, which will offer viewers a consolidated place to engage with arts and culture happening at UC San Diego and beyond," Walsh said.

Walsh said the new Arts Channel is also an opportunity to expand UCTV's arts coverage in order to tap into the diverse and robust artistic expression happening not only on campus but also around the San Diego region and beyond. Another goal of UCTV Arts is to give access to those who may not otherwise have access to arts programs and concerts.

"We have the chance to create cultural programming that is inherently inclusive and accessible, connecting audiences and artists on a more intimate and authentic level," she said. "We are in a unique position to work with the university and community partners to produce an array of videos that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion and highlight the cultural richness of our binational region and state. UCTV Arts will be seen by millions of people across the globe and will elevate the profile of cultural arts at UC San Diego and across the UC system. By going beyond our campus borders, UCTV will demonstrate the university's commitment to being a resource for all.”

Walsh said one of the long-term goals of UCTV Arts is to spotlight artists and musicians who otherwise may not have a platform to share their work and stories with the masses.

“These artisans help create a rich tapestry of who we are and where we live. They add to this richness of our region. Being able to highlight them is important because it’s more of a complete picture of who we are as a community," she said.

In an effort to include a more diverse mix of artists and performers, UCTV Arts has assembled an advisory group, which includes representatives from UC San Diego, including Ed Abeyta, Senior Associate Dean of Education and Community Outreach at the Division of Extended Studies; Rachel Bradley, UCTV Senior Producer; Andrew Waltz, Park & Market Arts Director; and Colleen Kollar Smith, Performance and Events Executive Director. Community members include Leah Goodwin, California Arts Councilmember; Christine Martinez, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership; Ron Miriello, Miriello Grafico Director; and Susanna Peredo Swap, Vanguard Culture Executive Director.

"UCTV Arts exemplifies UC San Diego’s commitment to public education, extending the transformative power of the arts beyond our physical campus and across regional borders,” said UCTV Arts advisory member and Executive Director of UC San Diego’s Campus Performance and Events Office, Colleen Kollar Smith. “This platform will amplify the innovative artistic endeavors flourishing at UC San Diego, throughout San Diego, and eventually across the UC system. By opening its virtual doors to learners of all ages, from every corner of the globe, UCTV will ensure access to the arts for all. I am thrilled to support Natalie’s vision to enrich lives and foster a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the arts with patrons and learners worldwide.”

In its second operational year, the self-funded UCTV Arts aims to create 12 to 18 original programs at UC San Diego and establish a new three-year funding initiative. Additionally, the channel intends to generate another 12 to 18 programs from July 2025 to June 2026.

“Our mission is to expose people to inspirational, educational and enlightening content that they may have not been exposed to by opening up the walls of the university to a wider audience,” Walsh said.

To explore opportunities to collaborate with UCTV on featured arts programming, please contact Natalie Walsh at nawalsh@ucsd.edu.

Posted: 2/16/2024 8:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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