Accessible Arts at Rhodes

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Publication Date: 3/26/2007

Several times each month members of the Rhodes College community receive an e-mail bearing the subject line, “$5 Tickets.” The message explains the offer—performances by Ballet Memphis, Opera Memphis or Memphis Symphony Orchestra and dramatic works at professional and community theaters. The savings are significant, as ballet tickets usually run about $30, and seats at the opera and symphony go for as much as $75.

All of these treats come courtesy of the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts, or CODA. Funded by a grant from the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust, CODA prepares undergraduate students in the knowledge that the arts invigorate culture and enlighten lives. Dr. Tim Sharp, dean of fine arts and director of the CODA program, says, “Growing future leaders in the arts begins by helping students experience firsthand the power of the arts to enrich the human experience.”
 
“The goal of our ticket campaign is to develop further the already rich culture of creativity at Rhodes,” explains John Weeden, assistant director of the program. “Attending these arts events in large groups enables students, faculty and staff to know one another through a series of common cultural experiences outside the classroom. It’s a great feeling to overhear people talking about the performances they saw together on the weekend. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re now taking suggestions for next year.”