A significant part of my role as the Vice-President if the UCSA is representing students, and recently I was lucky enough to speak for arts students that learn and perform in the incredible new facilities at the Arts Centre.
It is an absolute privilege for the students of Music Performance and Classical Studies to be studying where the University of Canterbury began and some of our most influential alumni studied. The Arts Centre has been a place of world-changing research and legacies of UC and it is truly inspiring to think that students of 2017 and beyond are finally inheriting this history to make the foundation for the future of arts at UC.
When the University moved to Ilam, the Arts Centre grew to be the hub for arts and entertainment in Christchurch. It therefore seems only fitting to have music students among the first to move back to this site. Alongside practice suites, a lecture theatre and library, workstations, and offices, there is a recital space where students hold weekly concerts open to the public, and soon to be bi-weekly. The move has allowed initiatives like this to happen, and has therefore also allowed a stronger connection between students and the community.
The Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities is another asset that will strengthen the relationship between UC students and the community. The James Logie Memorial Collection is one of the best and largest collections in the southern hemisphere, and is now on display for the public, allowing students to work closely with the collection’s curators.
I have seen the changes and progress that the university has made post-earthquake to accommodate all students, and promote flexibility and innovation in these tough times. To me, this move is a strong milestone that shows that my university and my college are going forward, and have made it through what has been a tough few years. These facilities show me that the arts are still so important and relevant, and that they are in fact flourishing in a modern world.
At a time where making connections, and engaging with our communities is so important, I think it is really appropriate that part of UC has made this move. The College of Arts is really connecting to the heart of Christchurch. I think matching innovative students with the rebuild of a city can only bring about a very promising future.
Written by Emily Barker