Ohio University

Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts

Logo for CoArts

location | Ohio River Valley
Geographical region with abundant cultural, historical, and natural resources.

method | Collaboration
Co-creation, experimentation, and exchange of knowledge and resources in the context of partnership and reciprocity.

mission | Regional Vitality
Mobilize OHIO’s artistic resources toward the construction of place-based knowledge and creative activities contributing to the public good.

CoArts is devoted to community development through arts engagement and collaboration. We support partnerships between the College of Fine Arts and regional municipal, cultural, and educational institutions. By mobilizing the university’s artistic resources toward cross-sector collaborations, CoArts provides applied research and learning opportunities for students and faculty as they assist in building a culturally inclusive and resilient Ohio River Valley.

Current Projects & Partners

CoArts works with faculty, staff, and students to develop projects addressing the priorities of our local communities. In particular, we are committed to building partnerships and projects in the following areas:


30 Mile Studio

Network of regional artists, educators, students, events, and sites interested in co-creating local community-based art and design projects. Each year, a college-wide course matches undergraduate and graduate students with a community partner; together, they investigate and implement social practices and placemaking methods off campus. Current community partners include Passion Works Studio and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Healthy Village: Immersive Healthcare in Theatre

Curricular initiative applying techniques from live theater, visual thinking, virtual reality, and narrative medicine to train healthcare students and professionals in communication and patient advocacy skills. Project Partners include the School of Theater, School of Film, Kennedy Museum of Art, College of Health Sciences and Professions, and Scripps College of Communication.

Arts + Medicine Initiative

Partnership between the College of Fine Arts and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, developing a new regional initiative at the intersection of arts, public health, and medicine.

Appalachian Recovery Project

As part of the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health, CoArts is creating arts programming within addiction treatment and recovery services at the Hocking Recovery Center in Nelsonville, Ohio.


We work with the college’s Summer Programs to support hands-on educational initiatives serving learners across a spectrum of ages and abilities.

Center Leadership

Samuel Dodd, Director

Dr. Dodd is a scholar of American architecture, community planning, and design. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also worked as a program coordinator in the Center for Sustainable Development. He currently sits on OHIO’s Opioid Task Force and the Community Engagement Committee (through the Center for Campus and Community Engagement), as well as the Vibrant Communities Task Force for the Athens County Foundation.

Angela Sprunger, Assistant Director

Angela Sprunger is a Lecturer in Foundations in the School of Art + Design. She holds an MFA in Printmaking and a Graduate Certificate of Gerontology from Ohio University and a BA in Studio Art and English from Saint Olaf College. Angela has worked for more than a decade in arts and higher education administration, including positions at the University of Minnesota and Wormfarm Institute.

Our Partners and Supporters

Ohio Arts Council