CVPA Dean's Message

Ruben Graciani

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is the creativity and arts hub of the University. Our School of Art, Design, Art History; School of Music; and School of Theatre and Dance represent the best opportunity in the Commonwealth for students to leverage their artistic thinking and practice towards a life in the Arts. Each of our academic programs focuses on high-level artistic training combined with entrepreneurial action and the integration of that practical training with your liberal arts studies.  

CVPA enables students to “Create Your Path,” with opportunities to discover and construct how you would like your artistic life to unfold. Our faculty share their considerable expertise, mentor students to develop professional networks and engage our community to utilize the arts in established and non-traditional ways. Our programs are known for engaging classroom/studio experiences, interdisciplinary collaboration, robust guest artist and guest speaker series, and a high level of academic and artistic rigor. 

We offer extraordinary spaces from the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts to Duke Hall and Duke Hall Gallery. Direct faculty mentorship combines with innovative curricula to push our students to reach their full potential. Students can do research, collaborate on interdisciplinary and focused projects, study abroad, and perform and exhibit in world-class facilities. 

The College also houses innovative opportunities through the Institute for Creative Inquiry, the Center for Inclusive Music Engagement, and the Madison Art Collection and Lisanby Museum. 

CVPA students meet the challenge of rigor head-on. They are known for their collaborative projects and professional-level performances and exhibitions. Synthesizing the intersections of their artistic work and the world around them, CVPA students understand how to creatively solve problems and make a difference in their communities. Our students are ready for the professional world, whether moving into jobs or creating opportunities for themselves to develop and succeed. 99% of 2018 CVPA graduates are employed, continuing education, or engaged in other career-related endeavors. This post-graduate success is the highest of any College at the University! 

CVPA believes that we all can make a positive impact in our communities and world when we are all seen and valued – everyone belongs. Our work together is meaningful and vital, and the world needs the Visual and Performing Arts now more than ever! 

We look forward to you getting to know all that is possible with the Arts at JMU. Please connect with us! 


Rubén Graciani, M.F.A 

Interim Dean 

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