Performing arts deserve better student and university support

Opinions Columnist | English Freshman

Students need to support their peers who are involved in the performing arts disciplines.

The performing arts are a difficult craft. Performers must spend hours upon hours in rehearsals perfecting every little detail and work very hard to make sure the finished product is entertaining. Texas State students who dedicate their time to the stage deserve support from other Bobcats. Just like athletes, performers need an audience to do their best work.

Part of the problem is that most students do not even know these performances are happening due to a lack of marketing and advertising by specific colleges and departments. I have seen maybe five posters around campus for the musical “Anything Goes” that opens in April, and they were all in places most students will not notice them. Over the past few months, many talented, hard-working young people have been putting all their time and effort into rehearsing for the show, and yet, because of poor advertising, few students even seem to know it is going on.

The same goes for any musical performance, vocal or instrumental. The only way to know about these events is by making a point to look at the online School of Music event calendar on a regular basis or else by actually going to the Music Building to check out posted performances. The same can be said for theatrical performances such as plays and dance recitals. Although these are a bit more widely advertised throughout campus, they are still mostly unknown to those outside the department. As a performer myself, it is always nice to see posters for events either my friends or I am in. It is a good feeling knowing that one’s efforts may be seen and appreciated by more than just the family and friends forced to attend by performers.

During football season, I am plagued with emails about upcoming games and the importance of attendance. Athletics are important, but so are student performances like plays, recitals and concerts. Many events do not even cost money to attend. Some events do charge a small amount for admittance, but students often receive discounts on regular ticket prices.

At the same time, admittance to athletic events across campus is not free of charge, either. The price to attend Texas State athletic events is already included in student tuition and fees. By doing this, the university supports athletics while giving students an incentive to attend. Texas State administrators should consider also including the cost of performing arts tickets in tuition fees in order to better support student performers as well as to encourage attendance. This might seem unfair to those who do not wish to attend student performances, but including the athletic fee in tuition is unfair to those who do not wish to go to football games. It is only right that the university equally support student athletes and performers.

Although the new Performing Arts Center just opened at the beginning of March and is a huge asset to Texas State campus in general, very few students seem to even know what it is. The opening weekend included a public show that involved all of the performance departments, yet the majority of the people that attended were from Friends of Fine Arts—a group of benefactors to the fine arts programs on campus. Had there been better advertising, there no doubt would have been at least a few students in the audience.

If athletic and social campus events can be advertised through emails, posters and Twitter, performing arts events can be as well. The arts give a sense of worldliness and culture and can teach students not only about themselves but also about the world at large. Without the arts, life would be boring, and student performers deserve support if only for helping to make the world a little less gray.