School of Arts and Humanities

The goal of an education in the arts and humanities is to connect students to the past while preparing them for the future. Our programs teach students how to think critically about what it means to be human, to explore how humanity defines and expresses itself, and to understand how our history informs our present. Through this process, students gain the skills they need to build a rewarding career and make a positive impact on the world.

Whitesell Costume Shop

Whitesell Costume Shop

Containing the largest costume wardrobe in northwest North Carolina, the costume shop is where imagination comes to life. Half wardrobe and half design and creation studio, students learn tricks and tools of the trade to turn sketches into intricate costumes that bring the annual performances in Hayes Auditorium to life. The vast repository includes outfits spanning nearly every era of human history, and whatever isn't already present can be made. 

Tech Studio

Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio

The on-campus Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio is where the sets and props for the shows are built. A working classroom for technical theatre students, the tech studio is where students learn the foundations of stagecraft and design. Under the direction of veteran set designers, Theatre Arts and Technical Theatre students will complete a required internship and gain an edge in the competitive world of theatre.

Whitesell Art Building

Whitesell Art Building

The art building is a working and learning space for students in the Communication Arts and Design program. It features studios for traditional fine arts like pottery and painting as well as a computer lab for digital art and photography. With creative spaces for discussion and gallery walls to display artwork, the Whitesell Art Building helps students hone and develop their creative skills. 

King-Shivell Gallery

King-Shivell Gallery

Located in the Cannon Student Center, the King-Shivell Gallery features a rotating slate of student, faculty, and guest artist exhibitions, including a Juried Student Art Show. The Communication Arts and Design program also hosts artist talks with professionals from the region and beyond so students can hear from industry experts about the path to a creative career.  

Hayes Auditorium

Hayes Auditorium

This fully operational performing arts venue is the site of multiple student productions every year as well as the professional Lees-McRae Summer Theatre series. Students learn how to use lighting, set design, costuming, choreography, music, and performance to enthrall audiences.  

Stephenson Center

John B. Stephenson Center for Appalachia

The Appalachian region is rich in history and culture. The Stephenson Center for Appalachia exists to preserve and share those traditions. In addition to bringing guest lecturers and artists to campus, the Stephenson Center hosts Appalachian Heritage Week each spring to celebrate local craftsmanship and industry.  

Lighting Lab

Theatre Arts Building

The Theatre Arts Building houses multiple experiential learning spaces, including a dance studio and lighting lab. Students prepare for performances by practicing their technical skills in a rehearsal space before moving to Hayes Auditorium.  


In PCOM 101, students learn what it takes to truly communicate

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Tesia Childs ’16 pursues her stage management dreams in the theatre capital of the world
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Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Catherine Pritchard-Childress talks the importance of Appalachian Studies in an academic context

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Meet the Deans

Chief Brandon Greer

Michael Vines, PhD
Dean of Arts and Humanities

Officer Jason Lolies

Robert Turpin, PhD
Assistant Dean of Arts and Humanities

Ready to take the next step?

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