While talking with deans, faculty and facilities planners of fine and performing-arts programs over the years, I have been struck by their concern for the student experience. All express a personal commitment in their students’ education and development—but they also voice concern about financial challenges impacting campus arts facilities.
The renovated Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center has created a campus focus for the arts at Macalester College in St. Paul.
Performing and visual arts programs have long jostled for new or improved spaces on college campuses. They often find themselves competing with capital campaigns promoting state-of-the-art student centers, STEM classrooms and labs, athletic facilities, and amenity-rich student housing that promises to give one campus the competitive edge over another. Thus, college arts programs are frequently housed in aged and makeshift buildings.