Arts & Culture

Excitement Building For University Of Houston’s New College Of The Arts

As the college quickly takes shape, faculty, students and alumni gathered for a celebratory kickoff ceremony Thursday night.

From the pianist playing Chopin inside, to the actors performing a scene from a Shakespearean play outside, all the entertainment at Thursday night’s event involved past and present University of Houston students and faculty. It’s an example of the artistic collaborations being encouraged by the new College of the Arts.

“I think that there’s a real sense that people are excited about the possibilities of expanding beyond what we normally do,” says Noe Marmolejo, director of the jazz ensembles at the university’s Moores School of Music.

The new college is combining seven existing arts-related schools and programs, including the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, where Karen Farber is Executive Director.

“It simplifies it and it gets us the dedicated resources,” Farber says. “So (it’s) dedicated staff – people who are always living and breathing the arts – looking after that mission.”

Planning Dean and Director of the Moores School of Music Dr. Andrew Davis says the budget for opening and operating the new college is about $18 million. One hope is that an autonomous, centralized college will provide more internship opportunities. 

“We can be plugged into those professional organizations in the community that are where our students want to be in five years, and ten years,” says Robert Shimko, incoming director of the School of Theater and Dance.

Approximately 1,500 students will be enrolled in the University of Houston’s College of the Arts when it opens its doors this fall.

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