Featured photo: UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver and UT President Randy Boyd are photographed in front of the “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural in Sharon. Since 2019, the University of Tennessee has been painting canvases across the state to remind passersby of UT’s presence in all 95 counties. To find mural locations or to nominate a space, visit https://everywhere.tennessee.edu/murals/. Photo By Sam Thomas
From language to writing, history to performing arts, ethics to architecture and every facet in between, these subject areas allow us to better understand ourselves, our communities and the world at large. They enrich our lives while providing the foundations on which we stand.
And the arts and humanities are essential to who we are. The impact of arts and humanities across our campuses and within our state is undeniable. We feel this impact when sitting in UT Martin’s Vanguard Theater, immersed in a world crafted by talented performers or when browsing the halls of UT Knoxville’s McClung Museum, surrounded by historical and cultural artifacts. Communities experience it when enrolled in the classes offered at the UT Southern Music Academy or when watching dancers perform within UT Chattanooga’s Fine Arts Center. I’m proud to say that UT Knoxville continues to be a top recipient of grants from the National Endowment of Humanities and that UT Martin offers the only K-12 Dance Education licensure in the state of Tennessee.
The act of creating—in all its various forms—is a vessel for exploration, and through it we can find meaning in our histories, our presents and our futures. Perhaps most importantly, the products of such exploration allow us to build a bridge to one another when differences run the risk of leaving a void.
As you flip through the pages of Our Tennessee, I hope you’ll experience an authentic connection as our campuses provide a conduit to the creative and an insight into the unique ways our campuses support and advocate for art in various forms.
Our campuses will continue to serve as an outlet to experience and fully immerse education in the arts and humanities. After all, I think we would all feel a little less human in their absence.
Randy Boyd, Knoxville ’79