Feb 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Shirley Hanson Roberts Center for Music Performance MSC 2107
Harrisonburg, VA
Phone: (540) 568-7131                                                                  
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/arts/

Rubén Graciani, M.F.A.

Interim Associate Dean
Wren River Stevens, Ph.D.

Academic Units Within the College

School of Art, Design and Art History
Katherine Schwartz, Ph.D., Director

School of Music
John Allemeier, Ph.D., Director

School of Theatre and Dance
Karin Tollefson-Hall, Interim Director

Graduate Programs

The College of Visual and Performing Arts offers the following graduate programs:

  • Art (M.F.A.)
  • Art Education (M.A.) 
  • Music (M.M.)
  • Music (D.M.A.)
  • Studio Art (M.A.)


The College of Visual and Performing Arts is founded on the belief that artistic expression reveals the essential nature and diversity of human experience. Embracing traditional practices as well as contemporary approaches and technologies, the college provides a stimulating environment in which students create, perform, interpret, research, teach and think critically about the arts. The college actively supports creative and scholarly endeavors, collaboration between faculty and students, and interdisciplinary exchange. The College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to making the arts an integral part of the life of the university and advancing their visibility, accessibility and understanding throughout the region and the world.


The programs in the college are committed to achieving the following common objectives:

  • To prepare students to be articulate, effective and inspiring performers, educators, creators, scholars and professionals in the arts.
  • To attain recognition and leadership in the arts at the regional, national and global levels.
  • To enhance, develop and sustain undergraduate and graduate programs of distinction.
  • To support cultural, aesthetic and intellectual diversity, and to foster interdisciplinary exchange.
  • To offer students instruction and learning experiences that incorporate the latest technology, research and practices.
  • To engage the surrounding community as an active partner in promoting and experiencing the arts.

Majors and Minors

CVPA offers majors and minors from the following schools:

  • School of Art, Design and Art History
  • School of Music
  • School of Theatre and Dance

Resources and Events

Forbes Center for the Performing Arts

Executive Director: Regan Byrne, M.F.A.
Phone: (540) 568-7000

Comprised of the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance and the Shirley Hanson Roberts Center for Music Performance, the Forbes Center houses five state-of-the-art performance venues: the Mainstage Theatre (450 seats), the Concert Hall (600 seats), the Recital Hall (196 seats), the Studio Theatre (200 seats) and the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre (200 seats).

The center is home to the Masterpiece Season, featuring a variety of cultural events for JMU and the entire community. The schools of Art, Design and Art History; Music; and Theatre and Dance all take an active role in this series. The season also includes the Encore and Family Series featuring visiting artists such as Step Afrika!, Dallas Children’s Theater, The King’s Singers, Chick Corea & Béla Fleck, Maria Magdalena Compos-Pons, and Rebecca Kamen.


Director: Beth Hinderliter, Ph.D.
Phone: (540) 568-6407

artWorks Gallery

artWorks is JMU’s student-run gallery, exhibiting work by undergraduate and graduate students. The gallery features moveable walls; hardwood floors; large windows; and a high, open ceiling. Exhibits change, on average, every four weeks. The gallery is located a short walk from Duke Hall on the second floor of 131 Grace Street. The artWorks Gallery is a curricular component of the School of Art, Design and Art History.

Duke Hall Gallery

Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art fosters creative and collaborative learning via active engagement with ideas, artworks, and exhibitions. The gallery is a platform for critically acclaimed exhibitions, vibrant programming, and publications that advance scholarship. As a teaching space, the gallery offers internships each semester and is a vital part of many School of Art, Design and Art History classes, including museum studies.

New Image Gallery

New Image Gallery is a university gallery featuring contemporary photography and new media by regional, national, and international artists. New Image Gallery is located on the second floor of 131 Grace Street, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA. New Image Gallery is a curricular component of the School of Art, Design and Art History.


Center for Inclusive Music Engagement

Director: David Stringham, Ph.D.
Email: cime@jmu.edu
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/cime
The Center for Inclusive Music Engagement (CIME), located in  Roop Hall, room 208, provides a collaborative space for practitioners, researchers, and community members to facilitate innovative opportunities for all persons – particularly those often marginalized in institutional music education contexts – to create, perform, respond, and connect with, in, through, and around music in ways they find meaningful. Staff, student innovation leaders, campus and community engagement partners pursue objectives related to research, collaboration, education and dissemination.

Institute for Creative Inquiry

Director: Daniel Robinson, M.F.A.
Phone: (540) 568-5656

The Institute for Creative Inquiry (ICI) cultivates interdisciplinary collaboration, fostering creative inquiry through team-taught studio seminars, research projects, and faculty and student fellowships. The institute also presents an active program of interactive exhibitions, lectures, and discussions. The Institute for Creative Inquiry, a collaboration among faculty representing all colleges at the university, is helping establish a multidisciplinary learning community, exploring the connections among art, science, and technology, and encourages community within and beyond the university. It is located in Roop Hall, room 208.

Madison Art Collection

Interim Director: Virginia Soenksen, M.A.
Phone: (540) 568-2661
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/madisonart/

The Madison Art Collection (MAC) is an encyclopedic collection of over 35,000 works of art and artifacts from a wide range of cultures.  As the only art museum in the Shenandoah Valley, MAC provides unique opportunities for students, faculty, and the surrounding community to access art of the world. The Lisanby Museum, the public gallery space, showcases two thematic exhibitions a year featuring objects from the permanent collection, and is open and free to all.  Internships offer undergraduate students the opportunity to develop practical skills in a museum environment, including curation, collections management, and exhibition design.  Students and scholars interested in accessing objects in the Madison Art Collection should contact the director.  MAC facilities are located on the lower level of the Festival Conference and Student Center.