A&Spire to Illuminate Pillar 4
Human Performance in the Arts
The College of Arts & Sciences has a long tradition of commitment to the arts based on the belief that through experiencing the creative expression of others and expressing one’s own creativity, students learn what it means to comprehend the divine and to be fully human. For this comprehension to be complete, students must have opportunities to experience art not only through the lens of their own culture, but also through lens of other cultures. Such an immersion will build empathy in our students, which is vital to preparing them for worldwide leadership. We are dedicated to providing this experience and excellence in the arts through well-established and robust programs in the Department of Art and Art History, the Department of Film and Digital Media, and the Department of Theatre Arts. These departments have an impact on every Arts & Sciences student through the new core curriculum requirements and majors.
As a result of curricular changes recently implemented, all students matriculating in Fall 2019 participate in Creative Arts Experiences (CAEs), such as art exhibits, concerts, film viewings, lectures, and theatre productions. These events provide students with an array of artistic expressions ranging from a performance of Sophocles’ Antigone, to readings by African American poet Evie Shockley and Ogala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier, to a lecture by Nigerian-born visual artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and to a viewing of the South Korean-made film Parasite.
Students also benefit from educational opportunities such as the Albritton Art Institute’s field studies and the Department of Film and Digital Media’s Baylor in New York program, which affords students internship opportunities with major media companies.
The three fine arts departments in Arts & Sciences also contribute to the cultural life of the Waco community through film festivals, theatre productions, and art exhibits.
Vision: The College of Arts & Sciences will lead the University in attaining nationally recognized awards in painting, theater, literature, film, dance, and design, while also providing an outstanding arts education to all its students.
Goal 1: Provide a fine arts program that is on par with those at aspirant universities.
1.1 Seek funding opportunities for the renovation and expansion of facilities in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.
Year 2: Conversation to begin with new development team and facilities on this possibility.
Year 3: To address space issues, Wiethorn Undergraduate Admissions Center will be converted into shared vocal studio space for the Department of Theatre Arts and the School of Music. In partnership with the Provost’s Office, conversations will continue about the renovation and expansion of Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts Center. We are also coordinating with Facilities and the Provost’s Office to ensure that the Department of Film and Digital Media has sufficient programming space.
1.2 Increase the number of top-tier national and international performances, productions, and juried events.
Year 1: Faculty in both the Department of Arts and Art History and the Department of Film and Digital Media increased the number of performances, productions and juried events.
Year 3: Trendlines continue upward. A thorough report will be provided next year.
1.3 Gain approval for an MFA program in Film and Digital Media.
Year 2: Discussions are underway.
Year 3: An MFA program proposal has been developed and is currently under review.
1.4 Explore the possibility of a Baylor in Los Angeles program.
Year 1: To explore support for a Baylor in Los Angeles program, Arts & Sciences coordinated a gathering of alumni in the Los Angeles area and also sponsored a virtual speaker group for alumni to reflect on their experiences as actors in the Los Angeles area. Favorable conversations are ongoing with donors to endow the Baylor in Los Angeles program.
Year 2: Discussions continue to we attempt to overcome logistical challenges.
Year 3: The inaugural group of Baylor students participated in the program in Summer 2023. We will monitor the program for long-term sustainability.
1.5 Increase endowed scholarships for all three fine arts programs.
1.6 Increase faculty participation at high-ability recruiting events.
1.7 Provide a comprehensive arts education to all A&S students.
Year 1: The new Unified Core Curriculum includes a 12 CAE credit requirement for all students to complete their degrees. In addition, all students must take one course from the Fine Arts and Performing Arts Distribution List.
1.8 Provide 200 or more events per year to facilitate the CAE requirement of the A&S Unified Core Curriculum.
Year 1: In 2020-2021, A&S offered 157 events online and 127 in-person events, to reach a total of 11,101 student participants.