In recent years, many universities across the United States have adopted a liberal arts policy. Students are encouraged to pursue all forms of academic study and to attend a variety of humanities, arts, and sciences courses. The arts also provide a unique opportunity to network with students from other institutions, participate in community service, and engage in extracurricular activities. But if you’re thinking of pursuing a degree in the arts, you may need some additional assistance. A career in the fine arts can be challenging and rewarding, but it’s also time-consuming and expensive.
Many colleges and universities offer programs in art instruction. These programs can be beneficial for student and teacher alike. An arts education helps students explore their creativity by introducing them to different types of media and visual methods. Teachers can offer specialized instruction in art theory, history of the arts, and composition. Some schools even require their students to complete a course in professional art administration.
There are a variety of resources available on and off campus that can offer assistance to students interested in pursuing a degree in the arts. One resource is the Department of Art Education and Research (DAIR). The university offers an examination help service to students interested in becoming teachers in public schools. The DAIR office provides assistance in preparing students for their state and county exams, provides research assistance, publishes a regularly-updated Arts & Humanities Yearbook, and distributes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Studies (BAHS) to students graduating from high schools.
There are also numerous private arts organizations on campuses and within cities that can be of assistance to students. Private arts organizations such as the Philadelphia Arts Association (PAIA) provide support after school programs for low-income students as well as assistance for student scholarships. The PAIA also organizes events such as summer concerts, musicals, and theater productions. Several local organizations offer support services to student musicians as well. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has a Performance Enhancement Program (PEAP) that provides assistance to students wishing to perform part-time or during the school year.
Private arts organizations also offer scholarships and fellowships for students who demonstrate artistic ability. For students aspiring to teach in a teaching degree program at a university, the arts department may sponsor a student teacher scholarship. At the Keough School in Maryland, arts funding is available to support the purchase of textbooks, student computers, and other school equipment. At the Middleton College campus in Vermont, the Arts and Sciences departments sponsors scholarships for Undergraduate and Graduate students. At George Washington University, students may apply for Arts & Sciences National Teaching Fellowships.
Schools often sponsor student film contests and benefit from an arts competition, which is especially beneficial for underrepresented minorities and students from low-income families. The Connecticut School of Business offers the annual CTFA Film Competition, a student film festival, which awards top prizes to winning films. At the Keough School, the Arts and Sciences Department sponsor a student film program that awards scholarships to students in need. The Ohio State University Department of Theatre also sponsors arts programs, such as the Ohio Valley Univeristy Student Screenplay Competition, a student film festival, and other artistic initiatives. The School of Art and Design at the University of Virginia sponsors UVaFA, an art and design program for undergraduate students. The School of Medicine at the University of Michigan sponsors UMAC, arts and medical program.
If you are considering a career in education, you will be pleased to know that there are several other ways to support arts programs and student artists. Check out your community. Find links to arts organizations in your zip code or visit the American Foundation for the Arts website. See if there are fundraising campaigns that you can help sponsor. Sponsor a local youth theater production. Or donate to your local performing arts organization.