Kevin Spacey to serve as President’s Speaker for the Arts

Award-winning actor to address University Oct. 18

The University announced Tuesday that Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey will address the University as the second annual President’s Speaker for the Arts. The speech will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena.

The event, sponsored by the Offices of the President and the Provost, the Vice Provost for the Arts and The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, aims to raise awareness for the arts and demonstrate their impact on the education process.

“Our goal with the event is to bring a nationally or internationally renowned artist who can share about their experiences and bring more awareness to the arts and express what an impact they have had on our world,” said Jody Kielbasa, Vice Provost for the Arts.

Last year’s speaker, alumna Tina Fey, drew hundreds of students and faculty to the University’s Amphitheatre. The high demand for the event prompted the University to allocate seats, and this year the event has been expanded to John Paul Jones Arena so the experience can be opened up to a larger crowd, including members of the Charlottesville community.

Kielbasa said Spacey is the perfect candidate to continue the speaker series. He is not only a critically-acclaimed actor but has also written, produced, directed and even sung in a number of productions. To students, he may be best known as Frank Underwood in the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

“There are so many ways in which he has had a profound impact in the field and to go beyond he is also a passionate advocate for the arts,” Kielbasa said. “Seeing him speak in person, I witnessed the clarity with which he spoke for why the arts are so important and crucial for the world.”

Spacey founded the Kevin Spacey Foundation, in support of performing arts including dance, drama, music and film. The foundation also supports a scholarship for students pursuing the fine arts.

General admission tickets are free and will be available for pickup starting Wednesday at the University Arts Box Office, John Paul Jones Arena Box Office and the ID Card Office located at the Observatory Hill Dining Hall.

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