April 20, 2017

Just a few days after the third annual UCF Celebrates the Arts concluded its eight-day run of concerts, presentations, lectures and workshops, planners have already started working on next year’s festival.

“If you liked UCF Celebrates the Arts 2017, just wait until you see 2018,” said Steven Chicurel-Stein, interim director of the School of Performing Arts and artistic director of the festival. “We’re having a postmortem meeting today [Monday]. There’s that much energy to get started.”

The April 7-14 festival was based at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando and for the first time at nearby art galleries.

“People responded to the variety of events that ranged from the larger events such as Oklahoma! and the Flying Horse Big Band, but also enjoyed the more intimate concerts and panels. They also responded well to the visual arts in the lobby and public areas at the center,” Chicurel-Stein said.

Several of the events were at capacity. The biggest performance drew nearly 2,700 people to each of the two Oklahoma! shows, a collaboration of the music and theatre departments.

Attendance to the festival was free, but this was the first year visitors could buy a limited number of reserved $20 seats.

“People took to that very well and appreciated the fact that they had earlier access to the theater,” Chicurel-Stein said.

Live streaming also was offered for several events, which made it possible for students’ families living far away to see the performances.

The festival featured more than 1,000 university students, 100 faculty members and some collaborative programs with outside partners showcasing theatre, dance, orchestra, choirs, big band, chamber music, cabaret, concert bands, opera, visual arts, studio art, gaming, animation, photography and film.

The purpose of the festival, Chicurel-Stein said, is to highlight what UCF has to offer and spread the word how UCF celebrates the arts.