As the fall 2021 semester progresses with a plethora of in-person events and activities, the Moss Arts Center offers a diverse collection of awe-inspiring exhibits and performances for the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg community.
Last weekend, Moss held its first free outdoor performances on Sept. 17 and 18 featuring choreography from BANDALOOP, a world-renowned dance group who manipulated gravity to glide across the side of the Moss Arts Center building in a fantasy-like routine.
In addition, fall exhibits opened to students on Sept. 9, and more in-person events are scheduled to follow through December. Last year, all Moss Arts Center events and performances were held online.
“It was great seeing students here in the galleries,” said Katie Gehrt, the director of marketing and communication at Moss Arts Center. “We hope that we can build even greater participation with students as we return to in-person performances.”
According to Gehrt, Moss Arts Center plans to initiate several engagement activities so that students can become an active proponent of the arts. These activities may include master classes, artist talks and more.
Along with these engagement activities, Moss Arts Center Student Ambassadors — Virginia Tech students who advocate for and assist in Moss Arts Center programs — will be holding a student exhibition at Moss this November that all Virginia Tech students can send submissions to. Submissions include any original artwork including physical and digital displays.
“We did this for the first time last year and it was so inspiring to see artwork from talented students from a wide variety of majors,” Gehrt said.
One event that the staff at Moss is looking forward to is a performance from Pink Martini on Oct. 30. Last year, leading members China Forbes and Thomas Lauderdale performed at the livestream event HomeStage, and this time, they return in person with a complete musical ensemble.
“It’s a well-known group that has toured the world, and they have a fun, unique sound,” Gehrt said. “It’s going to feel like a really festive performance; I think we could all use that right now.”
Audiences will also have an opportunity to see one-woman act DeLanna Studi on Oct. 11 through Oct. 14 for Indigenous Peoples Day. Studi is a Cherokee activist and performer who will present “And So We Walked,” a story about tracing her ancestors’ roots on a 900-mile journey.
As in-person activities continue throughout the semester, Moss Arts Center staff is focusing on maintaining the safety of audiences and employees due to COVID-19.
“The logistics of presenting performances is more complex, since we need to think through every aspect of safety for both the artists, our staff, and our audiences,” said Margaret Lawrence, director of programming at Moss Arts Center. “During the (COVID-19) pandemic shutdown, we learned not to take audiences for granted — and we largely succeeded in re-fashioning fun, vibrant streaming performances and conversations. Now the trick is to make audiences comfortable coming back to the in-person experiences they love.”
With the current lineup of events coming to Moss Arts Center this fall, students are encouraged to check out some of the performances, events and activities that the center has to offer. For performances, tickets are $10 each with an active Virginia Tech student ID. Students can also sign up for ticket notifications and free ticket claims by texting “arts” to 833-966-1838.
Don’t miss out on some of these once-in-a-lifetime performances this fall at Moss Arts Center.