Visual and Performing Arts

Here are some important points made by Beth Dombkowski of Rowan University and Laura Arbogast of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Visual and Performing Arts from the June NJACAC Conference:

  • Look at the college’s accreditation.  You would like to see accreditation by NASM for Music, NASAD for Art and Design, NAST for Theatre, and NASD for Dance.
  • Consider the school’s location.  Being in or near a large city is a major plus (e.g., it will provide you more opportunities for art internships).
  • Consider whether you would prefer a discipline-specific school (e.g., FIT) vs. a Larger University (e.g., Rowan)
  • Consider whether you would prefer a Traditional program (e.g., all Visual Arts students start by taking the same basic art courses) or a Direct Entry program (e.g., need to know what type of art you are most interested in and begin courses in that area of art immediately).
  • Attend a Performing Arts and Visual Arts Fair – These are college fairs that focus on schools with strong programs in performing and visual arts.  There are upcoming fairs in our area in the Fall including:
    • Philadelphia, Monday, 10/6
    • New York City, Tuesday, 10/7
  • Some good questions to ask the school are:
    • What are students producing?
    • Who will teach me?
    • What are support services?
    • What performance opportunities are available to me as an undergraduate?
    • What internship or employment opportunities are available to me?
    • Can I perform professionally outside of school while I am an undergraduate?
  • Tips on creating an art portfolios:
    • Different colleges have different portfolio requirements.  Review the requirements for the colleges you are considering.
    • Summer is a good time to work on your portfolio.
    • Go to a National Portfolio Day to get feedback on your portfolio from the colleges you are planning to apply to.  Typically high school juniors and seniors attend National Portfolio Days.   Upcoming 2014 dates in our area include:
      • Philadelphia – Sunday, 11/9
      • SUNY Purchase – Saturday 11/15
      • New York City – Sunday, 11/16
  • Tips on music auditions and placement exams:
    • Colleges generally list what is required for their music audition on their Web page.  Make sure you can do and are prepared to do all the parts of the audition.  This varies from college to college.
    • Colleges often require placement exams.  For example at Rowan, all music majors are required to take placement exams in Theory, playing the piano, and sight singing.
  • Theater major tips:
    • Bring a resume listing your theater performance experience to your audition
    • Before your audition, rehearse you piece in front of a live audience.
  • The job outlook for the visual and performing arts in the Northeast shows growth in:
    • Film & video editors (19%)
    • Interior design (14%)
    • Art director (11.7%)
    • Fine artists (10.3%)
    • Set and exhibit design (9%)
    • Photographer (7%)

State University of New York – Purchase

State University of New York – Purchase might be especially interesting for you if you are interested in the fine or performing arts. It is one of the few public universities, which is an arts specialty school. There are four theatres on campus, a relatively new Dance Building with 12 dance studios, and the Neuberger Museum.  The movie “Black Swan” was shot here.

Twenty-five percent of students are from outside of New York State.  Politically, the student body is liberal. 35% of the students are vegetarian and the school has a vegetarian eatery, Terra-Ve on campus. There are 70 clubs and Division III Athletic teams. The largest student group on campus is the LGBT group. The Cheese Club is a also very popular group. One of the social highlights of the year is the Zombie Prom. There are no fraternities or sororities at SUNY Purchase.

The school is located in a wealthy, suburban residential area. A short bus ride will take you to White Plains. From White Plains, you can get to Manhattan by train in 45 minutes.

For additional SUNY Purchase photos, check out the Slosberg College Solutions LLC Facebook page.

If you attended or visited SUNY Purchase recently, what were your impressions?