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In the Loop
Friends and Giving : Feb 13, 2020

An inside look at COTA Council 2020 convening

By MARISSA SECADES (BA THEATRE '18, BA ENGLISH ‘18, MAMC ‘20)

On January 31, the College of the Arts Council convened for their annual meeting on campus. Established in 2015, the COTA Council is comprised of an array of artists, industry leaders, alumni and supporters who gather annually to share expertise from their fields, assist in strategizing development plans with college leadership, and discuss the goals of the college and university. 

While some council members have thrived in professions within the arts, others have prospered in a variety of fields outside the arts. Rachael Jones (BFA Theatre Performance ‘11, JD ‘16), a law clerk for Judge W. Louis Sands of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, has relied on her theatre education in unconventional ways. 

“Even though I don’t do the work from my time at UF in my everyday job, being here today reminded me that I am an artist,” she said. “If it wasn’t for my voice training, I wouldn’t be able to command a courtroom.” 

Council members received an update on the university-wide Faculty 500 hiring initiative that resulted in 28 new hires for the College of the Arts between 2018 and 2019.

Dena Rigby (BA Art History ‘95), reflected on the opportunity for a broader education in the arts following this hiring initiative. 

“Having to take something where [students] are actively engaged in artmaking will better affect them going forward throughout their college years and beyond,” she said.

This year’s meeting also focused on understanding the college’s Meta-Strategy, currently in development to position the College of the Arts as a creative catalyst able to respond to and drive society’s rapidly changing contexts. Starting this fall, the Meta-Strategy will guide the college’s work through 2025, concluding with the college’s 50th anniversary. 


See a full list of COTA Council members here.