While they both share a love for the arts, UCF students like Giuseppe Pipicella and Isabella Moreno might never cross paths. Pipicella is a third-year MFA acting student in the School of Performing Arts, and Moreno is an undergraduate studying character animation in the School of Visual Arts and Design. But with the creation of an Arts Ambassador program underway, students across all disciplines may soon have a chance to collaborate under a common passion for supporting UCF arts.
The idea for the Arts Ambassador program came about because Pipicella saw a need to connect people across UCF’s diverse but often separate arts departments. Unified by one program, students in the arts would have a chance to discover and advocate for each other’s plays, recitals, and exhibitions, ultimately building a stronger community among artists on campus.
“It’s time to create that supportive community we have needed for so long,” Pipicella says. “It will benefit all of us if we support each other throughout our artistic endeavors and make lifelong connections along the way. I’m truly excited for what’s to come.”
The Arts Ambassador program aims to bring the creative community together in several ways. First, the group will promote awareness of arts events around the university through channels like social media, podcasts and tabling. It also aspires to build stronger ties with high school students who might be interested in studying arts at the university. Finally, the program plans on fostering collaboration between disciplines to increase interdisciplinary artistic projects at UCF – or just “work together to make cool stuff,” Pipicella says. Students will have the freedom to create and carry out initiatives that motivate them.
Isabella Moreno looks forward to using the program to introduce diverse role models for young people interested in forging a future in the arts. Her first taste of what the Arts Ambassador program may entail came in the form of a trip to St. Cloud High School, where she met with Pipicella and a music graduate student. Together, they hosted a question-and-answer session with students about potential careers in the arts and how UCF’s programs can help them get started.
“Before that, I had never met a theatre or music major,” Moreno says. “But it was cool coming together to talk with these young kids about making a career in the arts. We were out there promoting UCF and how you can be anyone at our school and be accepted – and you don’t have to compromise your passion for the arts if that’s what you want to pursue.”
Madison Mintzer, a musical theatre student, hopes the Arts Ambassador program will create a strong arts community on campus, encouraging prospective UCF students to join the programs she is passionate about.
“The main reason I chose to be a part of this,” Mintzer says, “is the potential that it has to create a stronger bond between current students, prospective students and alumni. And just build a stronger student community. The student community is already strong, in each department – but now we’re trying to bridge together the arts community – rather than just the theatre community, the music community or the visual arts community.”
All UCF students with a desire to support the arts are welcome to get involved as an Arts Ambassador. The program will have its first in-person meeting on Monday, August 22, at 6 p.m. in Studio One of the Performing Arts Center at UCF. There, students can enjoy free pizza, get to know each other and plan future projects.
“Come with ideas, come without ideas, just come to the meeting,” Mintzer says. “Collaboration with other artists can only lead to good things.”