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Areas of Study

Diversity and the Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts at James Madison University believes that equity, access and inclusion are moral imperatives and artistic obligations. Diversity—in the stories we represent, the students we serve, and the audiences we engage—is vital for the health and relevance of contemporary arts practice. CVPA, therefore, welcomes diversity of perspective, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability.

The faculty and staff of the College of Visual and Performing Arts stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

We are listening and learning in this moment, and we commit ourselves anew to joining black individuals and communities in the fight against racial inequality. As educators and artists, we pledge to continue this deeply necessary work not only in our classrooms and performance spaces, but also in our hearts and minds.  

To our Black students: We see you and we stand with you.

New Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Named

Art professor Susan Zurbrigg has been named the new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for the CVPA! A recent recipient of the Beck Faculty Fellowship, Susan has been a tireless advocate for change through the arts at JMU and in the Harrisonburg and Rockhingham communities through the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation "Change the Narrative" project.

In Fall 2019, Professor Zurbrigg staged an art intervention with JMU students that memorialized Charlotte Harris, a black woman lynched by a white mob near Harrisonburg in 1878. On Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Northeast Neighborhood Association and the Harrisonburg Community Remembrance Project unveiled a historical marker for Charlotte Harris in Court Square. The community was invited to attend the unveiling ceremony virtually on The City of Harrisonburg's Facebook page.

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