Performing and Creative Arts


The Performing and Creative Arts represent disciplines that intersect with music, dance, theatre and the visual arts. The Performing and Creative Arts emphasis would initiate dialog among research/creative activities from various areas and focus on the interaction of those areas with the ultimate goal of establishing excellence in artistic activity. Areas would include theatre, dance, music, musical theatre, visual arts, speech, and creative writing. Media would serve as a means of recording and disseminating live performance. In addition to maintaining a high level of artistic activity in traditional settings, potential creative/research projects could include oral performance of literature in cooperation with creative writing, modern dance interpretations of literature and/or music, collaborative presentations within new visual arts genres and media/sound design connecting to performing and creative arts.


Examples of major trends and opportunities in extramural funding

  • The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Missouri Film Alliance
  • Missouri Arts Council
  • Corporations within Entertainment Industry
  • Individual Donors and Private Foundations


Examples of areas of knowledge you anticipate will experience the most dramatic growth

Performances of recently composed musical theatre pieces, interdisciplinary productions of dance, theatrical innovations, new directions in jazz, performance art and installations as presented within museum and gallery settings, theatrically staged operatic performances, historically informed performances of classical music and theatre, performances of works by American composers and playwrights.

Unique Resources:

Examples of unique existing resources as well as current needs in Missouri, the Ozarks, and/or Springfield regarding economic development, technological advances, cultural enrichment, physical well-being, and/or social prosperity

Hammons Hall, on the campus of Missouri State University, is a performing arts hall that rivals facilities in major metropolitan areas. The technical and acoustical characteristics allow faculty and students to offer first-rate performances. The Art and Design Gallery is a major cultural center for the visual arts within the Springfield Metropolitan area which presents a variety of exhibitions that are made possible, in part, through grant assistance from the Missouri Arts Council.

Springfield is unique in that it offers a substantial number of performance and creative arts venues. These venues afford faculty and students a wide variety of opportunities to present and apply their performance and creative research. Examples of these settings include:

  • Springfield Art Museum
  • Springfield Symphony
  • Ozark Festival Orchestra
  • Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks
  • Mozark Regional Orchestra
  • Springfield Regional Orchestra
  • Springfield Little Theatre
  • The Vandivort Center Theatre
  • Silver Dollar City Corporation
  • Gillioz Theatre Center
  • Branson Theatres
  • Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • Coger Theatre
  • Tent Theatre
  • Art and Design Gallery
  • Ellis Recital Hall


Examples of new collaborations in research and/or learning as well as linkages to the University's existing and emerging research strengths

Missouri State University has already established relationships with nearly every performing and creative arts organization in the region. Due to the expertise of current faculty and students, new collaborations could entail partnerships with organizations on a national and international level.

The Missouri Fine Arts Academy is a three-week summer residential program for artistically gifted high-school students. Funds to support the Missouri Fine Arts Academy are appropriated by the Missouri Legislature. The Missouri Fine Arts Academy is conducted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in cooperation with Missouri State University.

Missouri State University has taken part in a musical exchange in which members of the Missouri State faculty and the Concert Chorale performed at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw (one of Europe's leading conservatories) and faculty of that institution performed on the Missouri State campus. Missouri State University currently has an exchange program with the Belgian Carillon School. Dance faculty have participated in international theatrical collaborations in music and film.

The Art and Design Department has collaborated in exhibitions with the Springfield Art Museum, the Visual Arts Alliance, private galleries and is an integral component of the "First Friday Art Walk." Visual arts faculty have been represented in collaborations with community organizations addressing social issues such as women and violence; and at a national level, the poverty within the Mississippi Delta has been addressed through the art of photography. The talents of visual arts faculty and students have provided the City of Springfield visualization constructs applied to new planning initiatives.

Collaborations with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks, Ozark Festival Orchestra, Springfield Little Theatre, the Vandivort Center, the Messiah Project and the many churches in the area which have active music programs provide invaluable professional experience for our students in the areas of music, theatre, and dance.

Such a wide range of experiences are rare within in university settings and lend the artistic areas of Missouri State University great distinction.


Examples of building on existing strengths

Many of Missouri State University's music faculty have performed nationally and internationally. A great majority of individual faculty members and 3 faculty ensembles have toured Europe and Asia. Several individual faculty members have produced commercially-distributed compact-disc recordings. Ten music faculty hold principal positions with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the faculty accomplishments, student ensembles have toured regionally, nationally, and internationally (in ten European countries), performed on regional and state conferences, and appeared on national public television.

Numerous theatre and dance faculty have performed nationally and internationally. Faculty in lighting and stage design have participated in productions in Asia, and costume design faculty have received press reviews in metropolitan theatrical venues. Theatre and dance graduates have achieved international recognition for more than 30 years. Alumni currently perform on Broadway and in television and film. They are nationally active in the fields of arts management, design, dance and education. Graduates include the vice presidents and directors of major networks, producers for entertainment companies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and young directors and actors in every major marketplace.

The Art and Design Department is the largest visual arts program within the state system offering the greatest number of degree programs. The faculty of the Art and Design Department are active professional artists, designers, and scholars, many of whom have established national and international reputations based on excellence of the their creative work and scholarly research. Awards and citations for their work span all creative discipline areas and provide constant inspiration for students within their creative interests. Numerous articles within national journals have been written about faculty, their research and the accomplishments of their students.

The Musical Theatre program, which is an interdisciplinary program of music, theatre and dance, continues to attract international attention for Missouri State University.

Mission Fit:

Examples of compatibility with the University's statewide mission in public affairs

The Performing and Creative Arts nurture the growth of the human spirit. On campus and in venues throughout the community, the students and faculty of Missouri State University engage in performing and creative arts which enrich the lives of the residents of the region. Performing groups in music and dance (Opera Workshop, Inertia Dance Company) have enhanced the learning experience of over 40 thousand pre-college students over the past decade through live performance. Many artistic events attended by the general public are made possible or supported by the performing and creative arts activities of faculty and students of Missouri State University. The Art and Design Gallery and Student Exhibition Center engage community members in a wide range of visual arts experiences and enrich their cultural lives. University cultural historians provide scholarly symposia which engage faculty, students, and the public in a renewed cultural curiosity. The Student Photographic Society has been providing its creative skills to the homeless of Springfield for over 13 years.

Education Fit:

Examples of contributions to superior undergraduate, graduate, and professional education

In the area of Musical Theatre, 4 students have performed with internationally touring companies (Europe and Japan), 16 have toured nationally, 8 have performed on Broadway and 3 regionally in New York. In music, 6 students have placed in national and international competitions and many others are employed in orchestras and other professional venues throughout the region.

Graduates from the visual arts are accepted into major graduate degree programs based on their exceptional portfolios and are employed by respected visual communications firms across the country. Countless graduates from the visual arts have received fellowships and awards at the national level and have established themselves as active professional artists.

In the fields of music, theatre and dance, the receipt of graduate assistantships and entry into competitive graduate programs is based on a live performance audition. Many students have been awarded assistantships or full fellowships at top level universities and others have successfully completed competitive graduate programs. The Theatre Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.


The performing and creative arts faculty at Missouri State have established and will continue a tradition of artistic activities on campus, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Student ensembles, visual artists and performing companies have maintained a regional, national, and international presence. Missouri State University has established itself as regional center for the performing and creative arts and will continue to recruit the highest level of students and faculty.