UMass Fine Arts Center Director Jamilla Deria gives host Zydalis Bauer a sneak peek at some of the shows you’ll find at the FAC this spring. 

Watch our full interview with Jamilla Deria.

This segment was originally part of our January 20, 2022 show.

Read the full transcription:

Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: At the start of the new year and the shift now into the 2022 portion of the season, what does the rest of the programing look like?

Jamilla Deria, UMass Fine Arts Center: At the Fine Arts Center, we like to say that we bring the world through the arts to UMass and the Pioneer Valley. And I think that you’ll find that we are living up to that aim in the spring season. And I’ll just give you a couple of highlights.

We open up our spring season with this amazing five person acapella group called Nobuntu from Zimbabwe. They’re singing Ndebele songs, which originally was an art form that was meant for men only, and they’ve re-imagined it with issues that are pertinent to the women of Zimbabwe. And also, they’re really focused on using music to bridge gaps across social, economic, and political fault lines.

We then move over to Quebec and we’re presenting Cirque Flip Fabrique – Six, Cirque is a contemporary circus ensemble. The founder really believes in the power of play, and while it’s a fantastic family show, it’s really meant for all audiences to come, leave your troubles at the door and enjoy the comedy, enjoy the amazing acrobatics, and all of the wonderful circus performance that they bring.

We then head up to Ireland for Danu, which is there the leading Irish ensemble group of around — and we’re going to be presenting them around St. Patrick’s Day. And we’re so thrilled, it’s really gorgeous music. What they say is that their musical journey through the country of Ireland.

We then head over to Small Island Big Song, which is a fantastic new project. It is artists from 16 island nations joining forces, making music, using their local instruments and traditional sounds to really call to attention the issues of climate change.

As we know, that island nations are at the forefront of this pressing global issue and that if if we don’t do something quickly, that the cultures of songs that that you’ll hear on the stage will, you know, disappear in maybe the next, you know, next few centuries. And so, I think that not only is the mission of the show so important and so timely, but the music is so powerful and amazing. So, I invite your audiences to come out for that.

And then we round out the the season with Alvin Ailey. They come to us with their amazing repertoire, including Revelations.

It’s going to be a fantastic season, and what I’ve talked about is only a spoonful of all of the amazing performances and exhibitions that were offering this spring.