The University of Toledo | Persevering Arts

Persevering Arts

Innovative Solutions Create New Avenues for Artistic Performances During a Global Pandemic

As many yearned to connect with others while staying at home, The University of Toledo embraced innovative ways of artistic expression to sustain the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic when people needed creative outlets and solace.

UToledo student Ufuoma Ogbemudje explaining a piece of art to a person

UToledo undergraduate student Ufuoma Ogbemudje is exposing the public to African American artists from the South underappreciated in their lifetimes by curating an exhibit at the world-renowned Toledo Museum of Art. The international student from Nigeria studying film and art history is one of three students in the country selected by the Souls Grown Deep Foundation to curate an exhibit featuring work from mostly self-taught Black American artists.

UToledo student Ufuoma Ogbemudje standing in front of a piece of art

Art student Heather Tarolli, a U.S. Army veteran, provided people with a safe place to throw something to release their frustrations while also creating their own beautiful masterpiece leading rage painting classes that surged in popularity this year.

Heather Tarolli standing in front of a splat-painted wall

The UToledo student virtual production of “20K Leagues Under the Sea,” nominated for the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, uses the story of Captain Nemo’s fight against injustice and oppression to address the conversation on social justice.

Actors on stage performing a scene from 20K Leagues Under the Sea

While the stadium seats were empty, the Rocket Marching Band continued its “Saturday Sounds of the Stadium” performances with custom-made masks for both performers and instruments in socially distanced field formations shared with fans via Facebook.

Marching band members playing brass horns with special coverings

As musicians on the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, UToledo music instructors ensured the show would go on with virtual performances enjoyed by an expanded audience across 29 countries.

Bill McDevitt playing the upright bass in the Toledo Symphony Orchestra

Photo by Robert Cummerow, Toledo Symphony Orchestra

College of Arts and Letters faculty launched a series of 2-Minute Desk Sets early in the pandemic to encourage us to stop, breathe and enjoy moments of beauty sharing poems, songs and other works they love.

Four images of a person playing different musical instruments

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