Why Study Arts at MBU?

Choose Yourself

We encourage and prepare students to make their own way in the world rather than waiting to be chosen. Students are given the opportunity to both innovate and lead, working side by side with peers and faculty in order to live artistically.


Art as Activism

The visual and performance arts is perhaps the most powerful means of social outreach.  “Artivism” combines the passion for art with a passion for activism in speaking toward social issues. Whether through dance, digital media, painting, or a play, students will learn to free the imagination and push the edges of courageous creative expression.


Co-Curricular Opportunities

Enjoy co-curricular opportunities to visit the Kennedy Center for musical events, New York City for gallery visits, the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, and the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. In addition, the College of Visual and Performing Arts hosts special events including the Susan Paul Firestone Lecture Series in Contemporary Art, the Carl Broman Concerts, as well as visiting artists and scholars from MBU’s Shakespeare and Performance graduate program.


The 3-2 BA/MLitt program allows students to fast-track undergraduate requirements and earn their Master of Letters degree in 5 years, with the potential for an MFA by the end of the 6th year.


“The arts are at the deep core of Mary Baldwin, in its very bedrock, a foundation for the future of young makers who are inspired by the past, inhabit the moment, and dream of the future.”
Paul Menzer, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts


Mary Baldwin University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts enjoys pre-existing partnerships with vibrant local organizations. These partners offer curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities for all MBU students and form an important part of student professionalization.


American Shakespeare Center

The American Shakespeare Center is a regional theatre company located nearby the Mary Baldwin campus. The center focuses on the places of Shakespeare and is renowned for its Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s first recreation of the original Blackfriars Theatre in London.


Heifetz International Music Institute

The Heifetz International Music Institute is a non-profit organization devoted to the artistic growth of some of the most talented young musicians in the world. As a six-week summer program on the MBU campus, Heifetz offers a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary program that teaches young musicians to go beyond technical agility to communicate the emotion of music.


Oak Grove Theater

Founded in 1953 by MBU professor Dr. Fletcher Collins, a leading scholar of Elizabethan music and drama, the Oak Grove is a true community theater that strives to hold to the high standards of performance set by its creator.


Beverly Street Studio School

Beverly Street Studio School is a non-profit organization located in the historic district of downtown Staunton that offers continuous non-degree college-level art classes to serious art students.

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