Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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#UCIArtsAnywhere: A Perfect Platform For Expressing Creativity Remotely

Amidst concerns regarding COVID-19, UCI transitioned to remote learning for the 2020 spring quarter and encouraged students to return to their off-campus residencies. The UCI community is now spread all throughout the globe and taking their classes online, which at first seemed nearly impossible for one particular group — the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) students. Not only do their courses rely on in-person and hands-on studio lessons, but the very nature of their majors depends on the energy of a live audience with whom the students can interact and showcase their creations. 

Shortly after the decision to transition to remote learning was announced, the CTSA’s social media seized the opportunity to make the best of this unfortunate situation. In response to the cancelation of shows, thesis projects and hands-on learning experiences, the CTSA official Instagram account started a hashtag that could be used as a platform to bolster creativity, showcase student work and talent, and foster connection among their community. In a post announcing the creation of #UCIArtsAnywhere, the account stated their intention was to “begin tapping into the spirit of remote learning” and assured their followers that they plan to keep the spirit of their community alive. 

The post encouraged CTSA students to “share a photo or video of you creating art at home, dancing in your room, singing from your balcony, performing a sketch, composing, curating, reading a play, playing your instruments, etc.” and tag the post with #UCIArtsAnywhere. An abundance of CTSA students have taken up this opportunity and the hashtag is full of Instagram posts showcasing the talent of UCI’s School of the Arts students across all disciplines. 

Dance students have shared time-lapse videos of the classes they’re taking from their homes. Music students have posted clips of themselves practicing their instruments. Visual arts students have shared their paintings and digital artwork. Drama students have shared monologues and songs, as well as plenty of throwback videos and photos taken prior to the enforcement of social distancing. 

Derek Sisouphone, a student majoring in drama, posted a clip of himself working on a dance he previously choreographed in his old dance studio. Sisouphone told the New University that choreographing in his home dance studio had been a safe haven for him. 

“I spent some hours watching these videos; revisiting, reevaluating what got me to do what I love — the passion I have for the arts,” Sisouphone said.

Out of a desire to show solidarity, he chose to post his video with the #UCIArtsAnywhere hashtag after “seeing the global dance community coming together to support one another.”

Check out Sisouphone’s post here.

The Instagram platform created by the CTSA is truly a beautiful thing. It’s providing School of the Arts students with something to keep their spirits and motivation high in these unusual and lonely times of remote learning and social distancing: some semblance of an audience and community and a reason to keep working on their passions. Additionally, it’s promoting unity amongst arts students. It is a reminder that everyone is in this together and has an equal potential to create and share their art from wherever they may be isolating. 

Even for those arts students who might never dream of sharing their work on social media, just scrolling through the tagged posts can bring joy and inspiration.  In times like these, it seems as if everyone is resorting to the arts for comfort and motivation, regardless of their major or career. Most people are binging shows, watching movies, listening to music, and spending free time finding their own artistic outlets at home while posting about it on social media. CTSA caught onto a trend and stepped up to the plate for their community, giving their students the power to share their many talents and creativity with each other in one little inspirational hub. 

Rachel Golkin is an Entertainment Intern for the 2020 Spring Quarter. She can be reached at rgolkin@uci.edu

Click below to check out more #uciartsanywhere posts.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-0SZLqnrHy/?igshid=1hsrcz95a23ch

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-iRelTg_Rt/?igshid=f4yeii2dhszl

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-6GGJ6AtPK/?igshid=1q095quai965b

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_Dx6U4F3Co/?igshid=p4o6r6rxyid2

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DqOn1jf90/?igshid=ti6d3m3tlvjz