By supporting the arts at the University, you help broaden the reach of the arts across the Grounds and further enhance UVA’s profile as a leader in learning, teaching, and service.

 Call for Proposals  Awarded Grants 

Thomas Jefferson’s enthusiasm for the arts has broad implications for University of Virginia students of the 21st century. By engaging with the many forms of artistic expression thriving on the Grounds, students learn that creativity has great relevance for their academic work in all disciplines. Indeed, by learning and doing research at a university in which the arts flourish, students become more effective problem-solvers, citizens, and leaders.

At the University of Virginia the arts have a long history marked with great accomplishment — examples include the Heritage Theatre Festival, Fralin Museum of Art, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Arts Collection, Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Film Festival. The extraordinary work of UVA’s creative writing, dance, drama, media studies, music, and studio art students and faculty is nationally recognized. As we plan for the future, we must build on the University’s tradition of excellence exemplified in this work of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and School of Architecture, and create new assets to ensure that the arts flourish across the Grounds.

Within the dynamic Arts Grounds environment, named in honor of Betsy and former President John Casteen, the University’s arts curriculum inspires creativity, innovation, and discovery while providing undergraduates and graduate students across all disciplines opportunities to integrate the arts into their unique student experiences.

We are now well positioned to make the arts an important priority. With the help of alumni and friends, we will build a sustainable means of funding signature artistic programs and initiatives through the Arts Endowment.

The endowment will expand, support, and promote excellence in the arts at UVA with investments in donor-reviewed projects and initiatives, enhancing the student arts experience, and distinguishing the vibrancy of the arts at UVA. This endowment is essential to sustaining our momentum and providing students, faculty, and visiting artists with opportunities to do their best work.


The Arts Endowment will:

  • Amplify the UVA arts experience for students and faculty
  • Attract major artists and scholars to the Grounds for performances, lectures, master classes, and exhibitions
  • Develop robust, multi-disciplinary programs that engage students and faculty from all schools and units
  • Invest in opportunities that emerge outside regular proposal cycles through discretionary funding
  • Create a continuum of resources for the arts


Donors who support the Arts Endowment with a minimum gift of $100,000 are invited to serve a five-year Arts Endowment Trustee term and will be instrumental in advising and charting the use and strategic investment of endowment earnings. The Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts will administer the funds of the Arts Endowment; accept applications from schools and units across the Grounds; and manage the selection process for funding of projects and initiatives focused on the arts. Award amounts will begin at $10,000. Endowment trustees will review proposals, make recommendations, and attend two meetings per year, during which they will engage with students and faculty working in the arts at UVA. These meetings are essential to forging partnerships between UVA’s arts philanthropists and the students and faculty who will benefit from support. As ambassadors of the Arts Endowment, Trustees are also encouraged to advocate for the arts and introduce new stakeholders to the Arts Endowment community.


Joseph Erdman (College ‘56), Co-chair
J. Sanford Miller (College ‘71), Co-chair
John H. Birdsall (College ‘66) and Mary Scott B. Birdsall (Curry ‘66)
A. Cary Brown (College ‘84)
The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
The J. Sanford Miller Family
Joanne B. Robinson
Bruce Robson and Emily Robson (College ‘88)
Mrs. Hunter J. Smith, Honorary Trustee
Gretchen Tibbits (College ‘89)


Jody Kielbasa
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director, Virginia Film Festival