College of Arts and Sciences renews vision for fine and performing arts at USask – News

Fine and performing arts are an integral part of the history and culture of the University of Saskatchewan (USask), and a review project aims to build on this strong foundation to strengthen the arts in a post-pandemic future.

The project, titled “Renewing a Vision for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Saskatchewan,” includes a review of infrastructure, an assessment of metrics related to fine arts scholarship and the performing arts, and the creation of a strong and sustainable new system. organizational structure that integrates the current music, theatre, art and art history departments under a common leadership.

The review project is led by senior administrator and longtime USask professor emeritus, Dr. Ernie Barber (PhD), who will engage in conversations with community members, on campus and off campus, as as the project evolves.

The implementation of the new organizational structure, including the recruitment of a new leader and the alignment of faculty, staff and students within the new academic unit, is expected to be completed by Spring/Summer 2024 .

Dr. Peta Bonham-Smith (PhD), dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and executive sponsor of the project, believes the time is right to chart a new course for fine and performing arts at USask, a medical and doctoral institution and member of the U15 group of Canadian research universities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of art, theater and music to the fabric of our university and to the citizens of Saskatchewan today and to our future,” she said. declared.

“The students, staff, faculty and alumni of our College of Arts and Sciences are leaders in the arts locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. We want to renew our commitment to the fine and performing arts and look to the future as we work together to build on our proud history.

The new academic unit will bring benefits to students and scholars, including greater opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration in research and course delivery, Bonham-Smith said. By coming together in a single academic unit, faculty, staff, and students will be able to foster new relationships and synergies, enabling innovative projects to take place at USask and within the broader arts community.

The overhaul project will ensure the financial stability of the fine and performing arts now and throughout the project. Bonham-Smith said the goal is to strengthen the fine and performing arts through administrative changes that will result in increased interdisciplinarity in academic programs, teaching, community engagement and research, academic and artistic work.

“By working together with a view to long-term sustainability, I am confident we can increase student enrollment and research funding and grow our ties and relationships with the arts community in Saskatchewan and beyond” , she said.

Changes required to create the new organizational structure will need to be approved by the University Council. The approval process is expected to continue through the 2022-23 academic year.

The first phase of the project will include the development of a renewed vision of fine and performing arts in conversation with the community. Facilities used by the Music, Art and Art History, and Theater departments for teaching, research, and community engagement will be reviewed, and a plan will be developed for the continuous improvement of the facility. infrastructure to support disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship. The standards and parameters used at USask to assess scholarships will be reviewed in relation to fine and performing arts.

“The college cares deeply about the fine and performing arts, and this review process demonstrates its commitment to investing in these disciplines and positioning them to flourish in the years to come,” Bonham-Smith said. .

A visualization team will be led by College of Arts and Sciences faculty Dr. Jon Bath (PhD), Department of Art and Art History; Teacher. Natasha Martina, from the Drama Department; and Dr. Jennifer Lang (PhD), from the Department of Music. A project steering committee, currently under development, will include the project leader, heads of fine and performing arts departments and other members.

The “Renewing a Vision for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Saskatchewan” project is a strategic initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences, supported by USask. As the project unfolds, fine and performing arts will continue to contribute to the five aspirations outlined in the 2025 University Plan: Transformative decolonization leading to reconciliation; productive collaboration; significant impact; distinguished learners; and worldwide recognition.

Throughout the planning, design and implementation phases of the project, indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation will continue to play a significant role. USask’s Indigenous Strategy, ohpahotan | oh paahotaanand the Indigenization Plan within the College of Arts and Sciences will serve as guiding documents as the vision for fine and performing arts is renewed.

“Through this visionary work, fine and performing arts at USask will be able to set ambitious goals for attracting students and faculty, as well as investments in research, alumni and donor support. , as well as community partners and collaborators,” said USask Provost and Vice President Academic Dr. Airini (PhD), sponsor of the project’s President’s Executive Committee.

“Fine and performing arts have a long history in USask and they will most certainly be an important part of our shared future. The arts have a key role to play as we strive to meet the challenges and opportunities of our post-pandemic future. Together we will be the university the world needs,” she said.

More information about the project “Renewing a Vision for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Saskatchewan” is available online at

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