Performing and Fine Arts Department
What We Do
The mission of the Department of Performing and Fine Arts is to facilitate an environment where the potential of art is considered in relation to the real life career goals of our students. Students will gain competence in skills required to create art, analyze art, understand the context of art and apply artistic concepts to professional contexts and life skills.
Art and performance continuously thrive at Utica University. Exposure to the creative arts is an essential facet of liberal education, and involvement in the arts promotes personal growth, the development of valuable skills, and the realization of a richer, more fulfilling life.
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Theatre, Fine Arts, and Music at Utica University
At Utica, you can develop your talents with these offerings in the performing and fine arts:
The purpose of the theatre concentration at Utica University is to create a culture of theatre-makers who are adept at collaboration, grounded in social justice, and interdisciplinary thinkers. We in the Department of Performing & Fine Arts believe that the art of theatrical storytelling is a continuous exercise in empathy, enabling theatre artists and audiences to imagine themselves into the places of others, gain emotionally engaged knowledge about their situations, and use that empathetic perspective to build community across differences. To that end, we train students in a variety of theatrical roles, contexts, and styles from around the world. Paired with our grounding in social justice and theatre for community building, this emphasis on variety prepares our students to be effective collaborators across disciplines, subcultures, and professions well beyond their time at Utica University.
Utica University also offers a Theatre minor that features courses in acting, production, literature, theatre history, directing and regularly offered special topics classes, such as puppetry.
The purpose of the theatre minor at Utica University is to train students in the effective deployment of theatrical storytelling within their future professions and global citizenship. We in the Department of Performing & Fine Arts believe that the art of theatrical storytelling is a continuous exercise in empathy, enabling theatre artists and audiences to imagine themselves into the places of others, gain emotionally engaged knowledge about their situations, and use that empathetic perspective to build community across differences. Our minor educates students in this empathetic aspect of theatre, preparing them to be informed, engaged, and empathetic audiences who will transform their consumption of art into meaningful global citizenship. The interdisciplinary focus of our program provides practical training in theatre-making that pairs easily with students’ majors to prepare them for future careers in education, law, the health professions, and other fields that employ theatrical skills as a supplement to their primary occupations.
Brainstorm, experiment, fail, try again and discover new ways to deal with challenges. Creativity is the ability to come up with a variety of innovative solutions to a problem, and it is a skill that anyone can develop and apply to any field. Students who select a concentration in Creativity Studies will combine the skills from their core communication classes with a variety of arts and learn to apply all of these in any future career path. This is particularly beneficial for students who choose careers where they will be asked to develop creative ways to get across a message using multiple media or any field where innovation is critical.
Featured within Utica University's concentration in Theatre and Theatre minor are courses in acting, production, literature, theatre history, directing and regularly offered special topics classes, such as puppetry. One play is produced each semester. Anyone can work backstage and auditions are open to all.
Theatre - Communication and Media Major
Introductory classes in fine arts and art history in addition to advanced courses in studio art and art history. Most of these classes are open to people with no prior arts experience.
Creativity Studies - Communication and Media Major
Introductory classes in music and music history, in addition to private lessons, band and choir. Band or choir can be taken as a class, or just for enjoyment.
Creativity Studies - Communication and Media Major
Utica University students are eligible to enroll for courses at local colleges through the Mohawk Valley College Consortium. We encourage students interested in the Performing and Fine Arts to explore the options available through this program.
Utica University is a proud member of the Central New York Arts in Higher Education Consortium (AiHE). The AiHE mission is to enhance academics in the arts through the exchange of information and cross-pollination of ideas; support arts faculty by fostering regional planning and collaboration; and work in conjunction to strengthen opportunities for arts students to learn and work in the region both during and after graduation.
Performing and Fine Arts Faculty & Staff
More about Arts at Utica University
- Mini-Gallery in Strebel Student Center
- Special Collections
- Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series
- Practice Room
- Public Piano
Café Domenico is a locally owned café, and a hub for the bustling Uptown Utica arts scene. Right across from the Uptown Theater and next to The Other Side Gallery, this is a great location for studying, or just to grab a good cup of joe.
Central New York Arts Council
Hamilton Cultural Events
Hamilton College, one of our neighboring institutions, offers a wide array of cultural events. This includes art, dance, music, theatre, performing arts and various lectures and performances.
The Leatherstocking Ballet, Inc. was formed in 1995 to foster a healthy interest and development of the performing arts in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding areas. The Aim has not only been to attract the attention of the serious ballet student, but also the interest of minority students of various cultural backgrounds.
Mohawk Valley Ballet
Their major productions are full-length ballets with professional choreography, scenery, costumes and guest soloists, presented at the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica. They provide young dancers with the training and development opportunities essential to progress to professional ballet. Over the past 30 years, nearly 40 Mohawk Valley Ballet Company Dancers, through their experience with them, have gone on to professional careers in dance.
Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute is a world renowned Art Museum, containing artwork from such masters as Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and more. MWPAI also houses a satellite branch of Pratt Institute. They are constantly hosting exhibitions, musical performances and even a sidewalk art show in the summer.
Full-time undergraduate students at UC receive a free membership. There are numerous benefits related to events, library resources, exhibition previews, ticket discounts, and more. All students must do is present their Utica University ID card. Click here for more information about memberships.
MVCC cultural events
In their state-of-the-art theatres and venues in Utica and Rome, the MVCC Cultural Series brings musicians, comedians, magicians, theatre, movies, and more to the community. Many events are part of MVCC’s Diversity and Global View initiative. This series is brought to you by MVCC’s Cultural Events Council with significant support from the Student Activity Fee.
Oneida County History Center
The Oneida County Historical Society was founded in1876 and has served since that time to collect, preserve and makes accessible the past heritage of Oneida County and the upper Mohawk River Valley. Services center around a research library; a 5,000 sq. ft. museum exhibit area running two concurrent exhibits at any given time; weekly programs featuring guest artists, authors and historians and a bookstore.
Critical research is conducted on a wide variety of topics for family history researchers, students, teachers, businesses, government, authors, and others. The Society has free high-speed Internet connections available in our research library.
Now known as the Oneida County History Center, the organization cares for a growing collection of over 250,000 documents and books, tens of thousands of images (photographs, paintings, slides, drawings, etc.) and thousands of artifacts. Many are rare collection items that provide invaluable information for researchers.
The Other Side Art Gallery
The Other Side, 2011 Genesee St. Utica, New York, is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing space for community-based and community-informing initiatives. Events include lectures, performances, media, classes and discussion groups, in arts and humanities, environmental awareness, sustainability, food, global issues, holistic health, Western wisdom traditions, peace and justice, and practical knowledge and skills.
The Other Side began in February 2007 as a community gathering-space in the uptown neighborhood of Utica. Inspired and organized by Kim Domenico, co-proprietor of Café Domenico, a family business next door, The Other Side furthers the general project of community-building that the café has offered to South Utica since 2002, expanding and building upon the café culture that thrives next door.
The Other Side offers its space to people in the community for a wide variety of events. In addition to sponsoring its own musical, cultural, and social events, The Other Side is available to members of the community who wish to rent it for yoga classes, musical gatherings, craft fairs, used-record sales, meditation groups, reading groups, and the like.
One particular ambition of The Other Side is to restore, at least in Utica, the Lyceum movement of the 19th century, which brought scholarly presentations and intellectual vigor to communities across the United States, perhaps most famously in western New York’s Chautauqua Institute.
Players of Utica
Players of Utica has a genuinely rich and robust history from its beginning as a small social & amusement club (1910 – 1912) to presenting hundreds of dramas, musicals, comedies, and original plays (1913 - present) to more than one million residents of Central NY.
Players of Utica is one of the oldest, continually producing community theatres in the United States and the oldest in New York State. This is a designation we can all be proud of! Players of Utica has always strived to provide entertainment that is unmatched in quality and value in Central NY. With each new season, we bring a mix of performances that range from timeless classics to the bold and inspiring – some never before or since seen in Central NY.
Saranac Thursdays (summer—must be 21 years of age)
What better way to celebrate warm weather? Unwind after work and enjoy some music and cold Saranac brew. Every Thursday through the first Thursday in September we’ll be serving up our best drafts and listening to great area bands. Stop down to the Brewery Thursday nights and start your weekend early.
Saranac Thursdays start around 5:30pm and end at 8:30pm. Parking is available in our parking lot behind the Brewery on Columbia Street, and in the parking lot across the street from our Brewery Courtyard on Court Street which can be accessed from Stark Street. Admission is $5 and benefits our local United Way. We hope to see you there, Cheers!
Sculpture Space is unique in North America for its support of sculptors, both those who come to Utica, New York, as residency participants and those who continue after their residencies as working artists. The organization selects 20 artists each year for two-month residencies and has helped to advance the careers of more than 500 national and international artists since 1976. A non-profit organization with a 35-year record of success, Sculpture Space also offers the public a valuable opportunity to meet innovative artists and to learn about contemporary sculpture. As a unique cultural resource, Sculpture Space promotes interaction between national and international visiting artists and the local community throughout Utica and the surrounding region. The organization places works in the public domain, hosts studio tours, welcomes school groups to meet and watch working artists, collaborates with other organizations to exhibit artists’ projects, and arranges lectures at area educational institutions including Colgate University, Hamilton College, Syracuse University, Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Mohawk Valley and Onodaga Community Colleges and Utica University.
The Stanley is a historic Mexican Baroque movie palace in Utica. Over the years, it has gone through several changes of ownership, but has always been affiliated with Warner Brothers Pictures.
Renewal era of the 1960s and 70s. The Stanley remained open through all of this, though it suffered many years of benign neglect. In 1974, when the threat of destruction became very real, the Central New York Community Arts Council (renamed Stanley Center for the Arts in 2008) spearheaded a campaign to acquire the property, which it did for $135,000.
Today it is host to the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Great Artists Series (over 75 years); Broadway Theatre League (50 years); Utica Symphony (over 60 years); and the Mohawk Valley Ballet (over 25 years).
Notable early performers included legendary singers Marian Anderson, Ezio Pinza, Lily Pons, Jeanette MacDonald, and Gene Autry. Later illustrious entertainers included Chuck Mangione, Conway Twitty, Third Eye Blind, Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, and Harry Connick Jr. The Stanley was also host to multiple appearances by Jerry Seinfeld, Wynton Marsalis, George Carlin, Itzhak Perlman, Bob Weir & RatDog!, and B.B. King. More recent performances include Aretha Franklin and legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach. The Broadway Theatre League brought in National Touring productions of Cats (musical), Annie, Evita, Sweeney Todd, and Barnum.
The Tramontane Cafe is the reincarnation of parts of a past venture called Virgo Bat & Leo Phrog's Coffeehouse. Reestablished starting January 2008, the Tramontane hosts local musicians and art exhibits on a constant basis. They also have a great menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a full coffee bar.
Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts (UTCA)
Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts (UTCA) was formed in 2017 to provide Utica, NY and surrounding communities with diverse programming that inspires, educates, engages and entertains. Through these activities, and the restoration of the Uptown Theatre, UTCA will help revitalize Utica’s Uptown neighborhood so it reaches its potential as a cultural, social and economic asset to the region. As part of their mission, UTCA will offer a dynamic range of constantly-evolving programs to our constituents, on stage and on screen, in a multi-functional entertainment space. Additionally, with a robust workshop curriculum, UTCA will expand the Uptown from venue to village, offering a place for members of the community to come flex their creative muscles, engage with one another, and learn something new.
Wilde Rep Theatre
Wilde Rep Theater, less than two miles away in New Hartford, is an organization founded by a couple Utica University Theatre faculty members who saw a lack of certain kinds of local opportunity for our students to build professional resumes in theater disciplines. This experimental theater company welcomes Utica students to audition for acting gigs or apply for tech gigs, all of which pay a stipend and may be used as internships.
Greater Utica Area
(Within an hour drive)
Bridgewater Indoor Skatepark and Café
A locally owned skate park, coffee house and antique shop, the Bridgewater Indoor Skatepark is a one of a kind establishment. It has friendly staff, quirky finds, and good food and beverages and of course, a skate park that was once a gymnasium. Owned by Ron Ingber, aka “Ron the Country Guy”, he has converted an old elementary school into a thriving local business.
Capitol Theatre in Rome
The Capitol Theatre provides cultural and educational opportunities to the community through the performing and visual arts in Rome, NY's historic 1928 theater.
Through unique, entertaining, and educational events in an historically restored theater, the Capitol will be a source of culture and community pride for Rome, Central New York and beyond.
Erie Canal Museum
Housed in the 1850 Weighlock Building, the last
remaining structure of its kind, the Erie Canal Museum is dedicated to telling the incredible adventure story of the Erie Canal. Come aboard a full size replica canal boat. Explore life in a canal town. Put on a puppet show in the Children's Nook. Experience a part of history that played an imperative role in the growth and development of our country. The Erie Canal Museum is a must-see for adults and children of all ages!
Everson Art Museum
The Everson Museum of Art seeks to inspire, educate and enrich, integrating art into people's lives through direct encounters with its collections and exhibitions. It is internationally recognized for its extensive and significant collection of ceramics, pioneering art video collection and distinctive structural design by the noted architect I.M. Pei.
Discover how people endured harsh conditions along the Oneida Carrying Place. Learn how the American victory at this frontier fort directly contributed to the British defeat at Saratoga in 1777; setting the stage for westward expansion through New York. Follow in the paths of the people who made history in the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolutionary War.
Herkimer Diamond Mines
Extract extremely pure quartz crystals from the world renowned Herkimer Diamond Mines, located in Middleville NY.
Explore an underground cavern near Cobleskill, NY. Learn the rich and interesting history of the cavern and its discovery on a guided tour.
Ilion Little Theatre Club
The Ilion Little Theatre Club (also known as 'ILTC' or 'The Stables') has entertained residents of the Mohawk Valley with multiple shows and performances since 1924. Currently, ILTC welcomes all adults interested in being a part of the organization - on or off stage!
Recently renovated; the Landmark Theatre is the premier performing and fine arts venue in Syracuse, and hosts dozens of events a year.
Museum of Science and Technology
Syracuse’s MOST museum has many activities for all ages, including an IMAX theater, interactive science exhibits, a planetarium and much more.
Palace Theatre (films)
The Palace Theater on James St. in Syracuse is a multi faceted theatre, catering to musical performances, plays, talks and of course movies. The Salt City Horror production company hosts “Brew N View” nights, which feature 35mm classic horror films and a great selection of wine and beer for those of age.
The Department of Drama offers a rich program of study that fosters the development of bold, passionate, truthful, skilled, and imaginative theater artist professionals. We are committed to a learning environment that nurtures and challenges and a deeply creative community that equips and inspires our students to become the collaborators, innovators, and leaders in both our profession and our communities.
Trenton Falls Arts Festival
Located in nearby Barneveld, New York, the Trenton Falls Arts Festival is held each September. This beautiful event prominently features stunning artwork and live music, celebrating the scenic and historic expanse of Trenton Falls. Walk the trail to experience the Falls firsthand, then browse the array of high quality crafts and locally-grown food products on exhibit. The Festival’s pastoral greenery makes for a pleasant, enriching weekend activity.
Central and Northern New York
(Within two hours drive)
Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts
The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts is a multi-disciplinary arts center, serving over 2,000 square miles of the Adirondack Park. The Arts Center provides service to the non-profit field as a presenter, producer and educator in the artistic disciplines of visual arts, theater, music, dance, and film throughout the Adirondack region as well as providing technical assistance to non-profits, local government, and area businesses.
There's no place on earth quite like the Adirondack Park, and there's no place in the Adirondack Park quite like the Adirondack Museum. We tell the stories of the people—past and present—who have lived worked and played in the region. Your Adirondack experience won't be complete without a visit to the Adirondack Museum!
Arts Center in Old Forge (View)
View is dedicated to making the visual and performing arts an integral and accessible part of the lives of residents and visitors of the Adirondacks, inspired by and reflecting the beauty of our natural environment.
Cooperstown (things to do within the town and area)
Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame
Are you a baseball fanatic? Well, you’re in luck. The Baseball Hall of Fame is but a car ride away. For more details on this historic and exciting place, check out their website.
Cooperstown Beverage Trail (Some stops are 21+)
Cooperstown has a centuries-old history of fine drink, going back well before baseball became America’s pastime. Once the hops-growing capital of North America, it now boasts breweries, wineries, and an historic cider mill, each one making world-class beverages for all to enjoy.
Four of these establishments comprise the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, New York State’s first official cuisine trail: Bear Pond Winery, Cooperstown Brewing Company, Brewery Ommegang and the Fly Creek Cider Mill. At each of these locations, you can enjoy tastings, take a tour to give you a close-up look at how the beverages are made, or just walk around in our specialty shops. Last year alone, more than 20,000 visitors explored our trail.
This year, we’ve included two Recommended Destinations: Butternuts Beer & Ale and Rustic Ridge Winery. Both are makers of fine beverages.
We are grateful for the support we have received from the NYS Department of Ag & Markets and the Otsego County Tourism Program, and the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. We encourage you to see and do as much as you can when you visit our beautiful region.
Fenimore Art Museum
The Fenimore Art Museum is the showcase of the New York State Historical Association, which is the not-for-profit corporate entity governing the operations of the museum. The New York State Historical Association was founded in 1899 by New Yorkers who were interested in promoting greater knowledge of the early history of the state. They hoped to encourage original research, to educate general audiences by means of lectures and publications, to mark places of historic interest with tablets or signs, and to start a library and museum to hold manuscripts, paintings, and objects associated with the history of the state.
The site of The Farmers' Museum has deep roots in New York State's rural past. The land has been part of a working farm since 1813, when it was owned by James Fenimore Cooper. Judge Samuel Nelson, whose office is part of The Farmers' Museum Village, bought the farm in 1829 and raised sheep. Fenimore Farm, as it came to be known, changed hands again in the 1870s, when it was acquired by the Clark family.
In 1918, Edward Severin Clark built a showcase complex at Fenimore Farm for his prize herd of cattle. The barn, creamery, and herdsman's cottage designed by architect Frank Whiting in the Colonial Revival style and constructed of local stone still stand today and are an integral part of the museum. Today, they house museum offices, exhibition spaces, and public areas. The structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Farmers' Museum opened its doors to the public in 1944. At that time, the museum had 5,000 tools and objects, including important collections amassed by the Otsego County Historical Society; William B. Sprague, founder of the Early American Industries Association; and the Wyckoff family, one of Brooklyn's oldest farming families. Today the museum's collections number more than 23,000 artifacts.
The Farmers' Museum is a private, non-governmental educational organization. It is closely affiliated with its sister organization, Fenimore Art Museum, the museum showcase of the New York State Historical Association.
Pirate Weekend (Alexandria Bay)
Bill Johnston was a renegade after the Patriots War, who blew up the British steamer, Sir Robert Peel, hid among the 1000 Islands, and was hunted by both U.S. and Canadian authorities. The annual Bill Johnston’s Pirates Days celebration commemorates some of his exploits. Fill your senses with the sound and spectacle when pirate ships attack the village from the St. Lawrence River, as the brave villagers try to stave them off. The air is filled with smoke and the sound of musket fire and cannon, and eventually the villagers succumb as the pirates invade the town. After the Mayor turns over the key to the village to the invading marauders, everyone becomes a pirate.
Sterling Renaissance Festival
The Sterling Renaissance Festival is one of the oldest and most successful producers of professional interactive entertainment in the world. Thrill to the excitement of over 100 stage and street performers, professional actors, comedians and musicians who whimsically recreate an authentic English Renaissance village for you to experience. Join the merriment at the Pub Sing, Wench Auction and Trial & Dunke. Witness dozens of artisans demonstrating their fine craftsmanship and selling their unique wares. Enjoy digging into our savoury delicacies - from steak-on-a-stake, pita pockets, succulent turkey legs, portabella mushroom sandwiches, mile high cakes and more!
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For a general list of frequently used logins, you can also visit our logins page.