Viewpoints

Liberalize the Arts

The University announced the creation of the Center for Creative and Performing Arts in 2001. It is not projected to open until 2010. With all the construction and spending slated for the next 10 years, more than ever, we cannot afford to forget the arts.

The art departments and artists on this campus require resources and space, yet there is also a pressing need for new and expanded facilities. Midway Studios and the Cobb darkroom are falling apart, and there is a constant fight for rehearsal space. These constraints are huge obstacles for the art community here. The fact that facilities are dispersed across campus means that there is no center for the essential interaction within the University’s diverse art community.

The need in the arts is also academic. It is no secret that arts are given a backseat to the biological and social sciences. But while those disciplines thrive, the arts are constantly hampered by inadequate resources. Though some may dismiss the value of the arts, it is important to remember the University’s commitment to the liberal arts. For too long, “liberal arts” at this university seems to have excluded the creative and performing arts. Adequate facilities are crucial to draw in the best faculty and students in the country.

We hope that, at long last, this new facility will succeed in giving the arts a rightful place among the other disciplines. Despite a projected cost of $62 million, this center is long overdue. By making an arts center a reality, the University can finally treat the creative and performing arts as any other liberal art.