Hey everyone, I'm Jeff Bellantoni, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, home to programs in the Visual Arts, Dance, Design, Theater, and Music, inspiring the next generation of responsible citizens of the creative class, the makers, performers, designers, educators and influencers. We can't wait to have you join our community of more than 700 artists this fall as you enter your first semester, at Winthrop University.
Our faculty and staff are working artists who share a belief in the creative economy. That the arts serve not only as an expression of our culture's values, but that creativity can positively affect social change, and creativity is a driver of innovation and a catalyst for the economy. It is the creative individual who plays a major role in influencing our lifestyles. The products we use, the clothes we wear, the environments we inhabit and how we communicate. Whether you realize it or not, by choosing to pursue the arts in college, you too will become part of a creative community, one that is more important now than ever. Creative solutions are needed most when limitations and constraints, such as stay at home orders, combine with massive global challenges, such as the Coronavirus, whether it means supporting health care professionals, assisting communities, or providing a source of happiness to others. I mean, just look at the designers and artists who are coming up with mask and ventilator hacks, or theater groups writing 10 minute scripts specifically for livestream performance.
The artists across our community utilize creative thinking skills to come up with unique responses to the unprecedented challenges that we are facing worldwide. Closer to home, our faculty members and students are finding new and innovative ways to connect with each other to make sure that learning, creating and making continues while we are temporarily away from campus. You can see some of this on social media by following #ArtsWinthropAtHome.
No matter what happens over the next few months during this challenging time in all of our lives, know that we are here for you, and we are ready to welcome you to Winthrop in the fall. So, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and please stay at home. We will eventually get through this. We'll do it together, and we will all be stronger for it.