Rita Blitt (B.A. ’52) first caught the passion for art as a little girl copying floral line drawings by her grandfather. Since then, she has lived a life filled with creativity and achievements. “When I create,” she says, “I feel like I’m dancing on paper.” Today, her paintings, drawings and sculptures have been featured in exhibitions in Singapore, Israel, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Norway. She also has permanent exhibits in museums, galleries and public settings around the world.
Blitt’s passion crosses many genres. She has forged partnerships with The Parsons Dance Company and the Sante Fe Ballet, and she collaborated with other artists to create films including “Blur,” “Visual Rhythms” and “Caught in Paint,” which was shown at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was invited to more than 130 other festivals. Blitt also authored The Passionate Gesture and Reaching Out From Within, and has written for many magazines, journals and newspapers across the country.
Blitt’s art goes beyond the aesthetic to her efforts to make the world a better place. Her “Kindness is Contagious, Catch It!” poster started as a gift to the STOP Violence Coalition, but its world-wide popularity resulted in Blitt presenting prints to every member nation of the United Nations. The Blitt family underwrites the Blitt Family Creative Arts Center at Synergy Services, a violence prevention and intervention center in Parkville, Mo. The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance has benefited from Blitt’s creativity through her donation of two major sculptures, financial support and her service as honorary chair for its Crescendo! fundraiser.
“As another alumna of UMKC,” says Robin Winner, executive director of Synergy Services, Inc., “I am proud to share my alma mater with Rita Blitt, and I know that she well represents the goals and aspirations of the University.” For the attention her work and service has garnered, Blitt received the 2010 Spotlight Award.