Saint Francis officials recently announced the launch of a Center for Fine Arts at the University. Daniel Atwood, the Director of University Bands, has been chosen as the center’s director.
The center is part of the School of STEAM. Fine Arts faculty members are hoping to build strong relationships within the School of STEAM, as well as with the Schools of Business and Health Sciences and Education. Their vision is that there will be inclusion of the arts in academic programs throughout all three schools at the University.
“We want to build upon what’s been here,” said Atwood. “The fine arts have been a part of Saint Francis for over 50 years, so we have a great foothold.
“We want to take what we’ve been able to do and expand upon that.”
Atwood is in his eighth year as the Director of University Bands. He came to Saint Francis in 2011 from Everett High School, where he served as Band Director.
“It was an honor to be asked to take over this position,” said Atwood. “I want to make the Center for Fine Arts a place that people can come to for academic and cultural enrichment.”
Theatre, visual arts, music, dance, the humanities and language arts are part of the Fine Arts Program at Saint Francis.
“With the Center of Fine Arts, there are a few goals that I have, said Father Malachi Van Tassell, President of the University.
“One is to attract new students to Saint Francis who have a love for arts, whether it is band, drawing, music. Another goal is to amplify the arts at Saint Francis. Arts are important in general and while we may be known for health sciences or business, I also want us to be known for having a top-notch center for the arts.
“Another opportunity is to involve our alumni who love theater, area residents who love theater and the arts, and be able to bring them onto campus to participate in the offerings of the center.”
Atwood said relationships across the University’s three schools are being established.
“We’re already making some advances, looking at interdisciplinary programs that we can offer,” said Atwood. “We want to be available for students of all majors.
“We’re looking at partnering with some business and education professors and courses and see what we can do to integrate the arts.”