Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Rubén Graciani, Dean
Wren Stevens, Associate Dean

Phone: (540) 568-7131
MSC: 2107
Location: Shirley Hanson Roberts Center
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/arts/

Academic Units

School of Art, Design and Art History  
Director: MiKyong Lee

School of Music  
Director: John Allemeier

School of Theatre and Dance 
Director: Peter Zazzali

Mission Statement

The College of Visual and Performing Arts empowers our communities to collaborate, envision and achieve their creative and professional aspirations. We explore the arts and design as a vehicle for cultural advancement, transformation and engagement.


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:

Resources and Events

Forbes Center for the Performing Arts

Executive Director: Regan Byrne
Phone: (540) 568-7000
Website: https://www.jmu.edu/forbescenter

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, 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 Series and Family Series featuring visiting artists such as Julian Sands, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Béla Fleck, Denyce Graves, Jefferson Pinder and Alex Bay.


Director: Beth Hinderliter
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 of Fine Art

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.


Office of Creative Propulsion

Phone: (540) 568-5656
Website: https://www.jmu.edu/arts/ocp/index.shtml

The Office of Creative Propulsion is an entity within JMU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. CVPA’s ongoing work is animated by a belief that the arts - by themselves and as contributions to multidisciplinary efforts - generate personal and social meaning, inspiration and change. Our communities are ripe with possibilities for artists, designers, educators and scholars who can leverage their experiences and education to reimagine and disrupt traditional practices; stretch and break artistic boundaries; collaborate on multidisciplinary teams; synthesize data from the world around them to identify problems and opportunities; and act boldly, justly and inclusively to create their own unique path. Through facilitating integrative courses, multidisciplinary collaborations, community engagement and participatory arts experiences, OCP supports students and faculty in ideating, launching, and refining arts-based efforts that promote more equitable and inclusive opportunities for meaningful arts engagement.

The Office of Creative Propulsion includes:

Madison Art Collection

Director: Virginia Soenksen
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.