A Note From Harvey

Maintaining the Bonds of Our Community

when I looked down at my shopping cart and saw a package of toilet paper—and felt genuinely happy.

I write this note as the United States and the world are slowly emerging from a global pandemic, COVID-19, that has infected millions of people and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. National and state-level emergencies were declared. Stay-at-home advisories were announced. Recommendations to self-quarantine led to store shelves being emptied of everyday staples: cleaning supplies, bread, and, yes, toilet paper.

Prioritizing the health and safety of members of our community, Boston University quickly recalled all students who were away on Study Abroad, switched in-person classes to a remote learning environment, and canceled K–12 programs scheduled for this summer, including Boston University Tanglewood Institute. It is difficult to imagine a summer without BUTI, but our lead story in the Summer 2020 issue of CFA magazine captures the spirit, high-level artistry, and powerful sense of community that will return next year.

CFA students, staff, and faculty have risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our distinguished faculty developed new approaches to teach remotely courses ranging from music composition to theatrical movement to sculpture. Our talented staff quickly established remote offices and, without interruption, continued to provide the high-level, professional leadership and support that is a signature of the College of Fine Arts.

With patience, understanding, and a powerful resolve to maintain the bonds of community, our amazing students adapted. No longer on campus, they made art, music, and theater everywhere. To honor our graduating class, CFA hosted a series of virtual celebrations in advance of postponed Commencement exercises.

The economic downturn that occurred in the wake of COVID-19 severely impacts arts institutions and individual artists. Every arts organization faces financial losses. Artists are finding the stages, galleries, and concert halls where they share their work—and earn an income—temporarily closed.

The arts will recover and rebound. CFA will play a lead role in this recovery. We will offer professional development workshops for independent artists who need guidance on how to move forward in uncertain times. We will partner with at-risk regional arts organizations to help them survive the effects of COVID-19. We will model best practices for how to safely welcome back audiences.

If you would like to assist in these and other recovery efforts, please email me at cfadean@bu.edu.

Harvey Young, Dean of CFA

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