Fine Arts

Art, Music, and Theatre

The liberal arts curriculum of Hillsdale College provides the ideal platform for achievement in visual and performing arts. Each major embraces canons of great works of the past that are studied, performed and emulated in stage and studio productions. While respect for the heritage of European and American culture informs much of what we do, we are not prisoners to the past. We also explore contemporary and non-western forms of expression against the framework of culture that has shaped us.

The vision of students in music, theatre and art is enlarged by both required and elected courses in Hillsdale’s liberal arts curriculum. Our fine arts students are well versed in history, humanities and the sciences in contrast to over-specialized graduates of large university programs. Furthermore, many students carry a second major in another field, providing another strategy for success. We are proud of the critical thinking, writing and public speaking skills that become a part of the profile of the typical Hillsdale arts graduate.

Students who major in one of the fine arts find excellent pre-professional training that links the ivory tower to the real world. Our faculty members have developed successful professional careers outside of committed teaching. We have a composer, a playwright, a painter, a sculptor and many performers in demand for their talents both on the regional and national level. The measure of our students is taken in competitions both within the College and in competitive intercollegiate forums.

Unlike most university programs, it is not necessary to declare a major to get into an acting class, or to take painting, or to sign up for music ensembles and lessons. Each department welcomes students from other majors who find their love of performing and creating nourished by the Hillsdale experience. Faculty serve as role models and, in many cases, life-long mentors for majors and non-majors alike. For example, a business major may find professional presence and confidence built by performing with the acting company. A psychology major continues her lessons in cello begun years earlier. A pre-med student reinforces the study of anatomy in our sculpture classes. The departments have as many or more non-majors as majors in their programs. This mixture is rewarding for all and demonstrates how much the arts are embedded into the fabric of Hillsdale College.