TROY Summer Arts Academy brings students to Italy

TROY students will return to Pietrasanta, Italy, this month as part of a new initiative that involves seven programs.

TROY students will return to Pietrasanta, Italy, this month as part of a new initiative that involves seven programs.

A new study abroad initiative will bring Troy University students to the thriving artistic community of Pietrasanta, Italy, this summer.

Beginning June 8, the TROY Summer Arts Academy will send students from seven different College of Communication and Fine Arts programs to Pietrasanta for hands-on learning and practical experience.

“The TROY Summer Arts Academy is an outgrowth of our expanding study abroad efforts, and it represents an incredible opportunity for our fine arts students to increase their global awareness and hone their talents in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “The town of Pietrasanta has been the perfect partner for us in this culturally rich endeavor, and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”

Coinciding with the annual Danza in Arte a Pietrasanta (DAP) Festival, the Academy opens the cultural doors for more than 80 students to experience art in the historic town.

“We are returning to the Tuscany area of Italy, where we have great friends and collaborators,” said Tori Lee Averett, Chair of the TROY Department of Theatre and Dance, which sent students to the DAP Festival in 2017 and 2018. “The DAP Festival is only a piece of this Academy. Students will get to study in this culturally rich part of Italy with help from the city of Pietrasanta, but only the dancers are going to participate in the dance festival.”

Each of the participating programs will focus on different tasks while in Italy.

“English students will focus on travel writing; visual arts students will take a sculpture class in a place where Michelangelo once sculpted; theatre, musical theatre and music industry students will have lab time and lab space in a place where art is a part of daily life,” Averett said. “To be in that environment is so different, it’s life-changing, and it gives students new perspectives. They’ll work with guest artists, performing in the streets.”

Trips planned as part of the Summer Arts Academy include:

  • Visual arts students depart June 8 and return June 16.
  • English students depart June 9 and return June 22.
  • Dance students depart June 16 and return June 19.
  • Graphic design students depart June 16 and return June 29, serving as graphic designers for the DAP Festival.
  • Journalism students depart June 18 and return July 2, documenting the stories of other TROY students in Italy.
  • Music industry students depart June 23 and return June 30.
  • Theatre and musical theatre students depart June 23 and return July 6.

Additionally, eight students and six chaperones representing Montgomery Public Schools and Pike County Schools will participate in the Academy.

A total of 85 Trojans will attend the Academy, up significantly from the 13 who participated in TROY’s initial DAP Festival partnership in 2017. “We’re so excited for our students to be able to work with guest artists in this environment,” Averett said.