School of the Arts

Welcome to the School of the Arts

The School of the Arts at Converse University inspires, teaches, and trains artists by fostering communication, creativity and scholarship, and nurtures appreciation for the visual and performing arts.

Converse’s School of the Arts values and believes in the arts as a path to passion, inspiration, imagination, discovery, expression, transformation, and joy.

Whether you are an aspiring artist or a local art lover, Converse University’s School of the Arts is your ticket to exciting visual and performing arts opportunities!

Departments & Programs

A pillar of Spartanburg’s vibrant arts scene, Converse presents hundreds of public concerts, performances and exhibitions annually; collaborates with local arts organizations; and prepares students for thriving arts careers through our Creativity That Works curriculum.

Our Lawson Academy of the Arts also offers classes and private lessons to community youth and adults in music and dance.

Incoming Art, Dance, Music, Musical Theatre and Theatre students are invited to apply for talent-based scholarships.

Apply for a talent scholarship

School of the Arts Programs

Creativity That Works

Creativity That Works is our initiative to prepare passionate young artists like you for productive careers in the arts. You’ll hone your craft as well as gain skills in marketing for the arts, portfolio development and career management. Blending your craft with these inter-disciplinary skills will give you an edge when you go to seek jobs and opportunities in the art world. All School of the Arts students will gain professional experience through their choice of internship, faculty-mentored research projects in arts fields, or other opportunities.

Who do you want to be? And what do you want to do?

If you love creating art — whether it’s music, theatre, dance, visual art, or design — those two questions are intimately intertwined. In the moment of artistic creation, whether onstage, in a studio, or creating on a laptop, you are an artist and what you’re doing is art.

Chris Vaneman music

Whether you want to create, perform, teach or help others, Converse University’s School of the Arts will guide you to think critically about the work you’re making, collaborate with others, and encourage you to create groundbreaking work in an array of art disciplines. Our programs prepare you for paths as teachers, creators, performers, therapists, and designers through deep scholarship, transformative mentorship and experiential learning.

Converse University’s School of the Arts unites three areas — the Department of Art, Design & Letters, the Department of Theatre & Dance, and the Petrie School of Music — in one promise: we will prepare artists to live lives of passion, commitment, and joy. And our Creativity That Works curriculum will enable you to transform your art into a flourishing career.

Converse’s Creativity That Works curricular initiative infuses career preparation into every year of every arts curriculum, so our graduates are thoroughly prepared for the world waiting for them.

But to have a truly great college experience, artists need more than a great curriculum: they need a great community. Our faculty are nationally renowned experts in their fields, and, just as important, they’re devoted to challenging and nurturing you to bring out your very best. And at Converse, your classmates will be your biggest supporters and cheerleaders at every step of your journey.

So come join us. Be the artist you want to be, and live the life you want to live.

Christopher Vaneman
Dean of the School of the Arts; Associate Professor of Flute

Experiential Learning

The School of the Arts boasts a broad experiential learning experience, composed of internships, clinical experiences, student teaching and study travel. 92% of Converse School of the Arts students participated in experiential learning over the past two years.

Our Mission

The School of the Arts at Converse University inspires, teaches, and trains artists; fosters communication, creativity and scholarship; and nurtures an appreciation of the visual and performing arts.

Our Values

The School of the Arts at Converse University values and believes in the arts as a path to inspiration, imagination, discovery, expression and transformation.

Department News

Upcoming Events