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Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Saint Louis University's Department of Fine and Performing Arts is made up of four programs: art history, music, studio art, and theatre and dance. Each program emphasizes a different discipline, but all encourage reflection on the world around us through art. In our classes and arts experiences, we offer an excellent opportunity to study humanity, aesthetics and culture through theory and practice.

Fine and Performing Arts Mission

The arts are integral to the moral foundations and the humanistic spiritual values embodied by the Jesuit educational mission. The arts reflect and shape society and have the power to advocate for positive social change.

Teaching the history, theories, practices and critical analysis of the fine and performing arts leads students to examine, engage with, and add to the fullness of the human experience. Faculty and students of the department contribute to the cultural landscape of the University and the larger community through performances, exhibitions, presentations and publications.

Students who experience the fine and performing arts at the University develop a deeper understanding of the full range of human expression.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at SLU

The full-time faculty and staff of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts acknowledge that the academy holds histories, barriers and biases that have marginalized and excluded the contributions of individuals of identities such as those of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. Since 2020, we have been undergoing a long-term, deliberate process of reflection, discussion and learning that we hope will bring about meaningful systemic changes to our classes and programs.

To facilitate our work, we have established the Equitable Practices Committee made up of a representative from each of our department programs. As of 2022, the committee consists of Ilene Berman, Lucy Cashion, Bukky Gbadegesin, Robert Hughes and Holly Seitz Marchant. Our department wants to ensure that our words and actions are intentional and lead to action. We are committed to learning together and working cooperatively with each other and with our students to grow and develop more inclusive, diverse, and equitable courses, programs and curricula. 

For more information about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences and SLU's Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement.

Fine and Performing Arts Programs

Art History

SLU's art history program examines the significance of art across cultures and throughout history, with a critical eye on the contexts in which it was created.


SLU's music program allows you to master your musical talents while working under the close tutelage of a faculty of professional musicians.

Studio Art

SLU's studio art program teaches you to see and think a like visual artist, utilizing many media to express your ideas.

Theatre and Dance

SLU's theatre program collaborates as a theatrical company, fostering commitment to the group while strengthening your abilities in performance, design, direction and management. The dance minor investigates the expressive potential of dance as its own art form, in other fields, or in personal practice.

Studying the arts can prepare you for careers in music, theatre, art, and other professions.