Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti-Shrem Museum of Art

For Parents by Parents: Aggies at Home with the Arts 

By Mary Jane Dellafiora  

In the midst of a pandemic, with large group and public gatherings canceled, you would expect this to be a brief column. However, students, their families and friends still can access the vibrant arts at UC Davis. What better way for them to stay in touch with the community and provide themselves with entertainment and intellectual stimulation while adhering to safety guidelines to protect each other?  

The Aggie arts have not been dormant during the Pandemic. UC Davis maintains the vibrant arts scene virtually.  As the quarter ends and the holiday season arrives, you can enjoy your time at home as you await your Aggie’s arrival home from school.  Or you can provide some much-needed outlet for conversation and shared enjoyment with him or her from the comfort of your couch. Log onto the UC Davis website hit the link for Campus Life and follow the link to Events or Calendar to see a slate of events.  To review further possibilities, go to arts.ucdavis.edu for a Calendar of Events to divert you, including lectures, exhibits and performances.  

The Department of Music sends melodies out through the airwaves via its Wednesday concert series. Check out arts.ucdavis.edu/pitzer-events for a list of Wednesday noon and evening performances, broadcast via YouTube for solo and ensemble performances by UC Davis’s endless talent pool, including composers, performers and conductors.   

The beautiful Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts continues to host programming, available via Zoom to its members and UC Davis students through HomeStage –a collection of live-streamed events.  For these and other programming, please go to www.mondaviarts.org. Donate to a good cause and sit down with a hot drink (or a chilled one?) with your Aggie at Home and enjoy one of the exemplary events.  As of this writing, the Mondavi Center has not canceled or modified its events that begin in January and you can still purchase tickets for them. How about Branford Marsalis on sax with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for a classical program (with a touch of jazz)? Or some mid-winter Mozart with the Alexander String Quartet in January?  As always, the Mondavi Center remains cognizant of Covid restrictions and the ever-changing backdrop to these public events. Please check the website for updates concerning the status of and updates to virtual and live performances.   

If you prefer to look on the sunny side of life during the dark months, why not lighten up with performances given by the University’s STUCC (Stand Up Comedy Club)?  The group continues to perform through Zoom, sending humor to your home (and maybe reminding all of us Aggies how much there is to enjoy even during “abbreviated exposure”?  Check out the group’s Facebook page for performances or have your AAH do that (Aggie at Home).  

And during the time of winter feasts, feast your eyes (and ears) on the visual arts bounty we can access through the always spectacular (even virtually) Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti-Shrem Museum of Art.  The museum continues to offer its talks, lectures and workshops on various subjects.  Check it out at manetishremmuseum.ucdavis.edu.  Included in the offerings are talks by influential art world figures from New York and Los Angeles, including curator and head of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s contemporary collections, Rita Gonzalez.  On a smaller scale, check out more intimate zoom events for supporters, such as talks concerning the Museum’s winter exhibition of works by Wayne Thiebaud.  Register for events at manettishrem.org.   

Shields Library continues to offer a series of online exhibitions for information, education and entertainment (library.ucdavis.edu).  The selection includes historical, social and nature photography, articles, films and art.  Every member of the Aggie family will enjoy Picnic Day:  By the Decade, containing photographs and films from 1908 through 2019.  Or see the evolving student life portrayed through UC Davis Traditions.  Finally, grab your new (or old) best canine friend, and enjoy the onlineFleetfield Gallery Dog Art display.

The quiet time we will spend this winter gives the Aggie family an opportunity to contemplate what is available to us through this great place—and what we should plan to take in as soon as we can visit in person again!   

Lectures, talks, podcasts—UC Davis continues to produce and sponsor thought-provoking and enjoyable content for all of its community.  This variety is part of what makes UC Davis exemplary.  Its offerings in the Arts, even virtually, makes a subdued winter its own kind of treat.  

For more information about vibrant arts scene virtually, please contact, Mary Jane Dellafiora, chair of the Communications Committee of the APFC, at mjdellafiora@me.com.  

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