JMU ArtsMobile to mark a new era of creative engagement in the Shenandoah Valley

Day of the Arts celebration showcases interactive art, music and theatre experience for all


James Madison University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts warmly invites the public and JMU community to the Arts Council of the Valley’s Day of the Arts, a day-long celebration of the arts. This inclusive event offers free workshops, demonstrations, live performances, and more in and around Court Square Theater and Smith House Galleries on Saturday, May 4.

This special day features engaging arts activities that are all free and open to everyone thanks to support, in part, from The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s Earlynn J. Miller Fund for the Arts. During Day of the Arts, CVPA Dean Rubén Graciani and professor of Architectural Design Nick Brinen, alongside Jenny Burden, executive director of the Arts Council, and Julian Knight, will participate in an Arts Impact Panel Discussion, moderated by, Kathryn Nusa Logan, executive director of CVPA’s Office of Creative Propulsion, delving into the profound social and economic impact of art in our community.

Additionally, CVPA will unveil the long-awaited JMU ArtsMobile at the Smith House Galleries from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. While JMU is known for many beautiful, state-of-the-art spaces across campus, these venues facilitate only a subset of the Shenandoah Valley’s residents engaging with the arts. The JMU ArtsMobile, a traveling visual and performing arts site and studio on wheels, is designed to help communities throughout and beyond the Valley engage with JMU’s exemplary arts and design programs in ways local communities find meaningful.

“Launching the JMU ArtsMobile is a step in our college’s commitment to foster arts engagement beyond campus borders and share resources with our communities. We hope it will be a mobile site for inspiring our communities to explore and engage with the arts and design firsthand,” Logan said.

What makes the ArtsMobile even more unique is how it was student-designed, from the trailer wrap down to the logo. When CVPA set out to plan the special unveiling of the ArtsMobile, they reached out to CVPA’s School of Art, Design, and Art History to find interested students who wanted to contribute to the design. Carrie Chambers, stepped up to the challenge and, with assistance from Mariah Paras, they successfully designed a five-panel wrap that one can only appreciate in person. The logo, designed by Kassidy Murphy, reflects the vibrant and welcoming essence of the ArtsMobile, symbolizing its connection to the JMU Arts community on campus and in the surrounding area.

The ArtsMobile was made possible by JMU’s Madison Trust — an initiative of University Advancement in collaboration with colleagues and campus partners from across JMU. Through Madison Trust, philanthropic investors energize JMU innovations, like the ArtsMobile. Since 2014, 77 philanthropic investors have served as panel members, more than 200 faculty, staff, and student presenters have showcased 91 unique projects, and private funding totals $1.1 million and continues to grow. 

The JMU Arts community is a vibrant tapestry of creative, collaborative, and entrepreneurial artists, designers, and scholars. They are eager to share their work and invite community members to actively engage with it. This collaborative spirit, at the heart of the JMU ArtsMobile, will bring together various disciplinary expertise to develop and deliver arts and design programming. This programming will be responsive to the needs and desires expressed by local residents, nurturing a sense of community and belonging. 

Experiences and features in the ArtsMobile will include but are not limited to participatory art, dance, music and theatre performances; “pop-up” visual art exhibitions; interactive dance, music and theatre performances; community-based participatory research; hands-on visual art and design workshops; and community-based art, dance, design, music and theatre education opportunities. The JMU ArtsMobile is designed to be a platform for active engagement, where the audience cannot only observe but also participate and contribute to the arts. 

During Day of the Arts, the JMU ArtsMobile will feature a showcase by CVPA students, including kid-friendly interactive design, Scenes from Hänsel und Gretel, and more, providing a unique and accessible way for the community to engage with the arts.

For more information and a full schedule for Day of the Arts, please visit


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Published: Thursday, May 2, 2024

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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