USC Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. Established in fall 2006 by President C. L. Max Nikias upon his installation as provost, Visions and Voices fulfills the goals set forth in USC’s strategic plan; communicates USC’s core values to students; and affirms the human spirit. Highlighting USC’s excellence in the arts and humanities, the initiative provides an inspiring and provocative experience for all USC students, regardless of their major or year in school, and challenges them to expand their perspectives and become engaged citizens who will eagerly make a positive impact throughout the world.
Emphasizing the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. With presentations by critically acclaimed artists and distinguished speakers, the series features theatrical productions, music and dance performances, film screenings, lectures, and workshops. In addition to the events held on the University Park and Health Sciences campuses, students are also offered a variety of opportunities to experience Los Angeles’s dynamic cultural landscape at events throughout the city. Every Visions and Voices event is offered free for USC students, and most are free to the general public as well. Each program invites students and the audience to dialogue and engage with artists, writers, professors, and special guests. These interactions provide a vibrant experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC’s core values, including freedom of inquiry, respect for diversity, commitment to service, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk taking, ethical conduct, and the search for truth. This approach to the arts and humanities can make every future scientist a better scientist, every future lawyer a better lawyer, every future business professional a better business professional, and every future artist a better artist, contributing to a better society as a whole.