7 ways to spring into the arts at UMBC

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Green trees line brick academic buildings as students walk on campus
It's beginning to look a lot like springtime at UMBC. Time to attend some arts events. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

As flowers start popping up on campus and we get some warmer (if rainy) days, it’s the perfect time to go out and catch some of the arts events happening at UMBC. Whether you need a break from studying, work, or are just looking for some fun, you can be sure to find many entertaining and thought provoking arts and culture events happening on campus!

1. Enjoy an Artful Conversation All About Dance

No dance skills are required to enjoy an evening all about dance with Artful Conversations: An Evening with Misty Copeland. On the night of March 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, and a New York Times best selling author, will be discussing topics all about dance and her historical performances. The night will begin with dance works performed by UMBC students and faculty. Later, in conversation with College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences Dean Kimberly Moffitt, Copeland will talk about her ground-breaking career.

In case the event is sold out or if you just want to watch on a later date, a livestream and recording will be available via the UMBC Youtube Channel. (Photo by Drew Gurian/MasterClass)

2. Bask in the Glow at a Poetry Reading

If you’re unable to make the Misty Copeland event, the English Department’s spring reading series event on March 6 features Taylor Johnson, poet laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland. Johnson is the author of Inheritance, and winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Inheritance was influenced by living in Washington, D.C., and it explores the complexities of language. The event, which includes a reading, Q&A, and book signing, is free, and runs from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library. (Photo by Sean D. Henry-Smith)

3. Listen to an Enchanting Evening of Music from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

On March 8, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform at UMBC. The ensemble will be led by conductor Ken-David Masur. The program includes Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, Toshio Hosokawa’s Meditation to the victims of Tsunami 3.11, and the orchestra will be joined by cellist, Zlatomir Fung, for a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto. The performance is being held at the Linehan Concert Hall from 8 to 10 p.m., and tickets are only $5 for students. (Ken-David Masur conducting. Photo taken by Stu Rosner.)

 4. Join WMBC for its Entertaining Spring Music Festival

WMBC Radio, UMBC’s independent, student-run radio station, will be hosting their second annual music festival on March 29 in the UC Ballroom, from 6 to 11 p.m. The festival will be featuring some student artists, bands, and other creatives! The bill includes Fly by The Seat, Regan Lewis, Eat the Cake, and more. Don’t forget to check out the art vendors who will be there as well!

students dance together at a music arts festival
Students enjoying live music at WMBC’s Lonely Heart’s Club Music Festival on February 9, 2023. Event photos by Emily Bryant, Maya Classon, and Mason Doan.
two people stand across from each other in an improv acting situation

5. Chuckle with Dog Collar at “Saturday Bite Live”

Either before or after WMBC’s music festival, stop by Saturday Bite Live, a free improv show put on by UMBC’s comedy troupe, Dog Collar. Contrary to its name, the show will be on a Friday, March 29, and will take place in the ITE building in room 104. Doors open at 7:30, and the show begins at 8 p.m. Come out and support these students while having a laugh! (Members of the Dog Collar troupe performing at the UMBC Gritty Kitties charity show. Photo by Anthony Rivera.)

6. Check out Plays for Our Planet

Get an early start on Earth Day this year at one of the UMBC Department of Theatre’s multiple plays centered around the theme of climate science and activism. The play Slime, by Bryony Lavery, directed by Nigel Semaj, will run from April 4 to the 14 in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building’s Proscenium Theatre. Slime is a dystopian comedy about seven grad students who are translators of different animal species, who must work to save all life on earth from a toxic slime. On April 14, there will be a free matinee for UMBC students and post-show actor talk-back. 

For more theatre events, you can check out the entire production season here!

7. Explore the FloodZone

The eerie and alluring photographs of Anastasia Samoylova’s FloodZone, depict the painstaking reality of what it’s like to live in the southern U.S. at a time when the climate crisis has greatly affected the environment. The exhibition was first featured at the George Eastman Museum in 2022, and has been on display in a few other locations throughout the U.S. as well as internationally, but the alligators and flamingos and other coastal life forms have now arrived at UMBC for a limited time. The exhibition will be on display at the AOK Library Gallery until May 29.

a green toned photo of a gator's legs hanging down into water
Image: Anastasia Samoylova, Gator, 2017. From FloodZone. Photo mural, printed by UMBC © Anastasia Samoylova

On Monday, April 22, in the Library Gallery, the artist will participate in an Earth Day panel on Climate Change, Science Communication, and the Arts. How do climate scientists share their research and data with the wider public in a way that non-specialists can understand? How might art contribute to this urgent work? Samoylova will discuss her photography while in conversation with scientists and media historians specializing in science communication.

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