School of Fine Arts

Dr. Robert Willenbrink, Founding Dean
(816) 271-4515

The faculty, students and staff of the School of Fine Arts believe that the arts are woven intricately into the fabric of University life and the performing and visual arts are central to the educational mission of any university, especially at an outstanding institution like Missouri Western State University. The knowledge and experience gained from participating in and viewing the performing and visual arts fosters the acquisition of new perspectives on the social, cultural and historical traditions of the world and teaches students creative ways to address the challenges of daily life. As educators we offer our students unique opportunities and practical, applied experiences designed to prepare them to be successful artists, scholars, educators and productive citizens. We inspire our students with our passion for learning and creating while motivating them to grow academically, professionally and personally.

By providing classroom instruction and comprehensive studio practice, we share with our students the wealth of human knowledge that is expressed through world drama, cinema, music, visual art, dance and the collaborative, creative process. Our instruction enables students to develop the intellectual and performance skills needed to pursue a career in the arts and address the emerging problems, issues and concerns of a diverse and vibrant society. As educators, we are dedicated to cultivating an open, creative environment that fosters the development of the student as artist, teaches the respect of the individual as human and artist, facilitates the understanding of other cultures and instills the values inherent in collaborative achievement. As educators, we provide artistic and educational experiences that allow students to build a foundation for a career and enhance the cultural lives of our students and the community.

The faculty and staff of the School of Fine Arts are committed to:

  1. Providing our constituents with a challenging academic environment that promotes risk-taking and facilitates an examination of human values, cultural diversity and social issues;
  2. Delivering a curriculum that provides students with a working knowledge of all areas of the visual and performing arts;
  3. Educating our students in the general practices and opportunities found in art, music, cinema, theatre, musical theatre and dance;
  4. Supporting and maintaining active, applied programs where students have the opportunity to learn and develop artistic skills and participate in the wide spectrum of world drama, cinema, dance, music and visual art;
  5. Assisting students in the development of a foundation for a career as a performer, musician, artist, designer, dance professional, graduate student, educator or professional in an allied field;
  6. Teaching the importance of high standards of personal and professional integrity;
  7. Contributing to the education, entertainment and cultural life of our community by providing outstanding performances and artistic experiences to the region.