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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Mission & History

Mission & History


The College of Fine Arts celebrates innovative creativity and scholarship, and engages students through a challenging and supportive learning environment. We infuse the arts into the university, the region, and the world, by embracing a broad spectrum of traditions and emerging practices.



The College of Fine Arts aspires to be an internationally significant center of creative practice and scholarship, by launching arts initiatives that reflect a diversity of ideas and cultures.

Value Statements

1. The arts have transformative power on society and on individual lives.
2. A diversity of arts should be both accessible and challenging.
3. Traditional and emerging practices should reflect the most rigorous measures of artistic and scholarship production.
4. Creative processes and the scholarly study of the arts contribute to humanity and produce skills and insights that are transferable to many other areas of knowledge.
5. Students who study diverse cultures gain a deeper understanding of our changing world.


About the College of Fine Arts

Ohio University's College of Fine Arts is a vibrant community of artists, art educators, actors, designers, dancers, musicians, playwrights, and scholars where you'll find everything you need to develop your skills and expand your talents.

Learn from acclaimed artists who teach because they get inspiration from sharing their ideas and techniques with talented students. Many of our faculty have performed and designed on the world’s greatest stages, exhibited at prestigious museums and galleries, published creative and scholarly research and served as leaders with international arts organizations.

With hundreds of performances, productions, lectures and exhibitions throughout the year, the College offers many venues for our students to share their talents with the community. And visiting artists, scholars and filmmakers, along with theater, dance and music professionals share their insights and talents with our students.

All of the College’s academic programs—Art, Dance, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music and Theater—provide you with a strong foundation in arts and culture and offer opportunities for specialized professional training. Personalized attention is a way of life.

The College also offers an exclusive program that allows students to live in a dynamic on-campus residential community with other fine arts students.

Tucked into the rolling hills of scenic southeastern Ohio, the University has earned a reputation for its rich educational tradition and outstanding academic programs. The idyllic beauty of the region is enhanced by the deep and varied tradition of arts, creating an exciting and culturally rich community. It’s no wonder that Athens was recently named one of the best small art towns in America.

If you’re looking for a unique, vibrant, and innovative environment to explore and refine your craft, the College of Fine Arts is for you.

Come see for yourself and experience the arts!



History of the College of Fine Arts

1883 - Piano lessons and singing classes first offered at Ohio University

1889 - Department of Vocal Music established

1892 - Department of Drawing and Painting established

1900 - College of Music established

1930 - Department of Dramatic Art established

1936 - OU President Herman A. James reorganized Ohio’s traditional two-college structure into five new degree-granting colleges, thus creating the College of Fine Arts

1958 - Elizabeth Baker purchased the Monomoy Theatre on Cape Cod for theater students to gain acting experience during the summer

1964 - New doctoral program in Fine Arts was established, the Department of Comparative Arts (now the School of Interdisciplinary Arts)

1967 - School of Painting and Allied Arts renamed to the School of Art

1967 - Marching 110 founded

1968 - School of Theater established

1969 - School of Dance established

1973 - School of Film established

1974 - Athens International Film and Video Festival founded

1988 - College of Fine Arts comprised of six schools: Art, Interdisciplinary Arts, Dance, Film, Music, and Theater

1995 - Edwin L. & Ruth E. Kennedy Museum of Art opened to the public

2012 - 75th Anniversary of the College of Fine Arts



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