Arts at Denison

Art happens here. The arts intersect with nearly every facet of life at Denison. Students often bring a passion for the arts, and once here they find new ones.
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A New Home for the Performing Arts
A New Home for the Performing Arts
With a new state-of-the-art Michael D. Eisner Center and interdisciplinary programming that benefits students all across the college, Denison is the ideal choice for highly talented students who want to explore the performing arts in a liberal arts setting.

Denison loves the arts.

And for the majority of our students, the arts play an integral role not only in their college experience but also throughout the rest of their lives, no matter their profession. We nurture our students’ interests through personal attention, countless opportunities to create and to participate, and of course, our very rich curricular offerings in music, theater, dance, cinema, art history, studio art, and creative writing.
Discover the Arts at Denison
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Get the Latest Arts News
Everywhere you look at Denison, you’ll see the influence of the arts. That’s because Denison’s culture is one of creation and collaboration, of small classes and individualized instruction spanning theatre, creative writing, art history, dance, cinema, music, studio art, and more.

All the Right Places

The Fine Arts Quad, on the college’s historic Lower Campus, is home base for the arts at Denison. Students and faculty members alike describe it as a genuine community—a place where people learn and create together. But spaces where the arts live and breathe are found all over campus. Discover some of those spaces.

The Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, slated for completion in 2019, will be home to the departments of music, dance and theatre, creating a dynamic, interactive space where students can collaborate across disciplines. While faculty and students already partner on projects that span their areas of interest, the Eisner Center will provide more and better opportunities for that engagement to happen, as well as larger, adaptable performance spaces to present their work for the Denison and local communities.

 
Rendering of the theatre within The Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts.

Bryant Arts’ award-winning and wide-open spaces leave room for the brilliance of student and faculty conceptual art to take center stage. Originally built in 1904 as a men’s gymnasium, the structure has seen iterations as a library, an auditorium, a student union, and even a swimming pool, and today all of that history has been renovated, expanded and refined into a completely unique and inspirational home for the arts. Originally known as Cleveland Hall, the Bryant Arts Center provides outstanding exhibition, studio, classroom, performance, practice and social spaces for the arts and the entire campus community.

 
Bryant Arts Center

The Doane Dance building is a Jeffersonian Federal Revival style structure built in 1905. It has been home to the Department of Dance since 1975. A large studio/performance space, which seats 100 people, the studio is equipped with a full set of theatrical lights as well as a professional sound system. The studio hosts dance concerts, as well as recitals and cultural productions throughout the academic year. The sound/light booth includes a sound recording and mixing board, dimmers and a dimmer doubling system. A smaller studio, equipped with a full light and sound system is available for performances as well. Both studios have a five-layer spring-loaded floor.

 
Doane Dance Building

Burke Recital Hall is home to the Denison Orchestra and serves as a place for recitals and rehearsals, as well as musical productions by the Singer’s Theatre Workshop. Constructed in the “New Brutalism” style in 1973, auditorium seats about 250.

The Black Box Theatre is a flexible space that can be configured as a theatre in the round and well as in more traditional theatre stagings. The space, which holds up to 100 audience members, is used often by Denison Independent Theatre Association, a student organization whose members choose, direct, and act in plays written by Denison students. The Black Box is a cozy theatrical environment, as the seats line all four walls and the actors enter and exit from the corners. There also is seating available from above.

 
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Swasey Chapel hosts a variety of guest speakers, programs and performances, including the Vail Series, Martin Luther King Celebration, Richard C. Lugar ’54 Lecture Series, Academic Awards convocation and Baccalaureate. The chapel is home to many concerts by Denison musicians, ensembles and student a cappella groups. The bell tower and spire are iconic landmarks on the horizon, and the semi-secret Bell Ringers Society serenades our campus.

 
Swasey Chapel

Knapp Performance Lab, located in Knapp Hall, holds an audience of about 270 and offers video projection, screens and the latest technology for interactive performance work. It is used for multiple events, from dance department and student group performances to academic classes, rehearsals and yoga. A modern and open space of about 50’ X 39’ feet, the room features hardwood flooring, bare walls for lighting and projection equipment, and a raised platform surrounding the room with multiple uses.

 
Knapp Performance Lab

The Denison Art Space in Newark is an exciting new multi-arts center located in downtown Newark, in the historic, newly renovated, Thirty-One West development. This space consists of a flexible gallery area, two music teaching studios, and an artist-in- residence studio that welcomes artists who are looking to take advantage of the rich history of downtown Newark. The Denison Art Space in Newark will highlight local artists as well as artists from all around the world, working in new, innovative ways across a wide range of mediums.

For more information and event listings, visit Denison Art Space in »

 
Newark Arts Building

Situated on Denison's historic lower campus, Burton Hall is home to the Department of Music. It features classrooms, studios, rehearsal spaces of all sizes, and an open-air balcony that overlooks the Fine Arts Quad and Henderson Gardens.

 
Burton Hall

As a teaching, learning, research and exhibition facility, the Denison Museum is focused on helping faculty and students integrate objects of historical, cultural, and artistic value into the academic curriculum. The museum is free and open to the general public from September to May while exhibitions are on view and is open year¬-round to faculty, students and researchers by appointment.

See what's happening at the Museum!

 
Denison Museum

The Theatre Arts Building houses the LeRoy “Ace” Morgan Theatre, a space for about 200 people to enjoy theatre department and student productions. It features state-of-the art sound and lighting facilities and provides a space for students to learn how to “tech” house plays, as well as providing rooms for design classes and theatre writing classes. Ace Morgan also houses the theatre box office; a fully equipped scene shop; a welding, metal fabrication, cabinetry and fine props construction shop; a paint storage and preparation room; an extensively stocked costume shop, as well as an electric shop.

 
Theatre Arts Building - Ace Morgan Theatre

Since 2003, the 1,100-square-foot Mulberry Intermedia eXperience (MIX) Lab has housed the high-tech tools that help artists of cinema, dance, music, studio art and theatre to explore the intersections of their disciplines. Also in Mulberry House is the MIX Gallery, Denison's contemporary art gallery featuring multimedia rich exhibits and events throughout the academic year.

 
MIX Gallery

The Cinema Department is located in the recently renovated Cinema House. Here you will find faculty and staff offices, a student lounge, a state-of-the-art screening room, production equipment, a Steenbeck flatbed editing room, and five MacPro media stations (additional MacPro media stations are located in the Mulberry Inter-media eXperimental (MIX) lab).

 
Cinema House

Home of the famous “Snagel” and “choose-the-ending-to-your-milkshake,” the student-run Bandersnatch is the perfect social space for students to unwind, take a break from studying, or take in a performance. Located on East Quad, it is a two-minute walk for many Denison students. Different groups perform there throughout the week, including student a cappella groups and student DJs, and guest poets often come by. Furthermore, the space is used for open mic nights, which are highly popular, as well as being a space for artistic self-expression. The Bandersnatch is a great place for performers to gather and interact closely with a smaller but very engaged audience. It holds about 90 people.

 
Bandersnatch Coffee House

Herrick Hall’s arced configuration seats about 300 people. With a stage well suited for individual performers as well as ensembles, the Department of Music reserves the space for Common Hour student recitals, wherein music majors and minors give campus audiences a glimpse of their work in musicianship and composition. Guest artists and writers from many disciplines have given talks in this more intimate space as part of there time spent on campus, and Denison’s comedy sketch troupe, Skech’rs, performs and rehearses here. Herrick Hall was built in 1966 in the New Formalism architectural style.

 
Herrick Hall

On the fourth floor of Slayter Student Union is Slayter Auditorium, a large performance space with sound, lights, screening capabilities, and seating to accommodate about 300. It’s often used for speakers, concerts, and group rehearsals, as well as for various theatrical performances. Slayter Auditorium also hosts film series and screens movie favorites nearly every weekend, courtesy of the Denison Film Society.

 
Slayter Auditorium

Notable Alumni In the Arts