The arts at Berry deserve your support

Arts programs on college campuses are essential to a rich campus culture. Here at Berry, we are lucky to have great arts programs such as theater, dance, studio art and numerous types of vocal and instrumental music. Whether you are a member of one of these programs or just someone who enjoys going to one of their amazing productions from time to time, you know how important they are to our campus life. These programs cannot exist without the support from students, though, so it is vital that we all make an effort to show up and show our support for the arts at Berry. 

Supporting the arts comes with a plethora of benefits. For starters, they serve as a wonderful creative outlet and stress reliever. After a hard day of classes and homework, moving around and thinking with another part of your brain can do a lot for your mental health. Making a bowl in the ceramics studio late at night might help you balance out all the information you had to digest from your BIO 111 class earlier that day. Dancing around with your friends could be the perfect relief from all the sitting and seemingly endless reading you have to do in preparation for class tomorrow. Even if you just go to Sister’s Theater to watch a musical theater production, you can take your mind off of the stress of the day. 

The arts also do a great job of promoting diversity and fostering a community on campus. Students of any background can participate in our programs, and oftentimes, there are options for people of any skill level too. The men’s and women’s choirs, for example, do not require an audition; therefore, anyone can join. Introductory classes in art, theater, music, and dance are also open to all students, no matter their major and level of previous experience. You will meet so many people through these programs – people from different majors, with different hobbies, and even from different countries. Even more, they will become some of your best friends, always there when you need them most. 

So, how can you support the arts at Berry? First and foremost, go to the shows and productions we have on campus. Over in Sister’s Theater, the theater company puts on two productions a semester, and the dance company has a concert each semester. There are a few art galleries in Moon throughout each semester that are open to students, and the music program has concerts by numerous bands and vocal groups all the time. We live right on campus, so there is no easier way to get a live experience with the arts than right now. Not only that, but showing up to anything put on by one of the arts programs shows that you care, which means a lot to the people involved. 

Going to cultural event (CE) credits is another easy way you can support the arts. Most shows and concerts by the music, theater and dance companies are CE credits, and many of the other CE credits we see throughout the year, such as artist talks, documentary showings and poetry readings, are based in the arts. The more people that show up to these events, the more arts-based CE credits we can bring to campus. 

Finally, taking a class or joining one of the arts programs offered at Berry is one of the best ways to show your support. You will not only enrich your liberal arts education, but you might find a new hobby or passion as well. Furthermore, participating in an arts program shows administration that students care about the arts, which can encourage the growth of our programs and help more students discover a new creative outlet. 

We need art everywhere, but especially on college campuses. Smaller arts programs like those offered at Berry serve as a safe space for new and growing artists, and they contribute to a richer campus culture that benefits everyone. If you are looking for an extra class next semester, consider taking a class in the arts – you can try something new and perhaps discover a new passion. 

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