Dance is just one component of U-Nite!, presented by Sac State and the Crocker Art Museum. (Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

U-Nite!, the soiree that celebrates the arts and humanities in a festive atmosphere at an intriguing venue, returns after a three-year absence to deliver an evening of performances, readings, art, and talks from Sacramento State faculty.

A collaboration between Sacramento State’s College of Arts & Letters and the Crocker Art Museum, U-Nite! situates dance performances, literary readings, scholarly and artist talks, artwork, and musical performances in the various galleries and spaces of the Crocker. Attendees may wander about, viewing the presentations while enveloped in the museum's varied collections.

This year’s celebration runs 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Admission is free for Sacramento State students, staff, faculty, and Crocker members; $5 for alumni; and $10 general admission. Tickets are available at the Crocker Museum website or at (916) 808-1182.

“The College of Arts and Letters takes great pride in its outstanding faculty and is eager to share their most recent accomplishments with the community,” says Arts & Letters Dean Sheree Meyer. “Our professors are highly recognized artists, writers, filmmakers, choreographers, composers, and musicians.”

This year’s lineup includes solo, duet, and group dance performances; readings from new works by authors Joshua McKinney (Mad Cursive, Novice Mourner), Doug Rice (Here Lies Memory, Blood of Mugwump), and Kim Zarins (Sometimes We Tell the Truth, The Helpful Puppy); and film screenings, among other presentations.

“Through this outstanding arts event, our long-term relationship with Sacramento State becomes even more impactful,” says Lial A. Jones, the Crocker's Mort and Marcy Friedman director. “Some of California’s preeminent artists are natives of Sacramento, members of the college alumni and represented in the Crocker’s collection. U-Nite! promises to be an amazing evening of diverse cultural enrichment from and for our community.”

The return of U-Nite! is part of Sacramento State’s growing presence in downtown Sacramento. An education center the University is developing on S Street mainly will house the in-progress School of Public Affairs. But it also will have office and meeting spaces for Arts & Letters to get together with arts entities downtown.

“As the city of Sacramento plans strategically to develop its ‘creative edge,’ the College of Arts & Letters looks forward to playing a major role in establishing an arts and culture hub,” Meyer says. “U-Nite! at the Crocker in the fall and U-Create at the Verge and Beatnik Studios in the spring are just the start of our ‘moving downtown’ and collaborating with our partners in the community.”

For more information, visit the Crocker Art Museum online or call (916) 808-7000. More information about Sac State’s College of Arts and Letters is available at or (916) 278-6502. For media assistance, call Sacramento State University Communications at (916) 278-6156. - Craig Koscho