Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) College of Arts and Letters on Monday launched a new YouTube series in an effort to share solace through “the power, depth of reflection and context only available from the arts.”
The college’s dean, Barry Jones, hopes the series – called “We Can’t Make It Without the Arts” – will help viewers deal with “the isolation and uncertainty of the coronavirus and social distancing.”
A new video featuring a faculty or staff member will post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the Arts and Letters YouTube channel, Jones said. The presenter will “share something from the arts that they turn to during times of anxiety, something that gives them hope and helps them navigate turbulent waters.”
Jones took the first turn on Monday, sharing one of his favorite musical works, Miles Davis’s 1959 studio album “Kind of Blue.” You can see Jones’ video here.
Upcoming “We Can’t Make It Without the Arts” episodes will include:
- Andrea Spofford, Austin Peay State University Department of Languages and Literature, discussing science fiction as a form of escape.
- Jeffrey Williams, Austin Peay State University Department of Music, singing and discussing Vincent Youmans’ “Without a Song.”
- Maris Sikes, Austin Peay State University Languages and Literature, talking about Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.”
- Dixie Webb, APSU Department of Art + Design, discussing quilts and quilt-making.
- Mercy Cannon, APSU Languages and Literature, talking about plague literature.
The impact the arts have on our lives
The idea of the videos was inspired by a suggestion from Dr. Tim Hudson, executive director of the Center for Extended and International Education.
“He said it better than I can: ‘Our constituents, colleagues and students could benefit from some sort of connection to the power, depth of reflection and context only available from the arts,’” Jones recalled.
Jones accepted the challenge and asked for volunteers to create videos “during this incredibly difficult time.”
“Students will get to see faculty share works that are very important to them personally and to see that we are also searching for ways to cope during this pandemic,” he added.
Jones noted the power of the arts during hard times already is evident.
Jones closed his video on a hopeful note.
“Wonderful and important scientists, doctors, political leaders and others will solve the coronavirus problem, but until then I have Miles Davis.”