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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Portraying Identity

Denison Museum presents: "Portraying Identity"

The Future is Not Binary

The Denison Museum presents: "The Future is Not Binary", an LGBTQIA showcase

The Future is Not Binary

The Denison Museum presents: "The Future is Not Binary", an LGBTQIA showcase

Beck Series: Poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris

The Beck Series welcomes poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris.

Eisner Center for the Performing Arts - Sharon Martin Theater
An Extraordinary Home for the Performing Arts
The Michael D. Eisner Center, with its state-of-the-art technology and interdisciplinary programming, connects students across the entire college, making Denison the ideal choice for highly talented students who want to explore and master 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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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 is a dynamic, interactive space where students and faculty work together across disciplines. Home to the departments of Dance, Music, and Theatre, the Eisner Center also encompasses the former Burke Hall, which includes the Denison Museum and the Burke Gallery for exhibitions.

The Eisner Center houses versatile stages and rehearsal spaces with cutting-edge technologies; classrooms specifically equipped for the arts; department offices; and many open spaces especially configured to encourage interdisciplinary activity. All told, Denison now offers its students, faculty, and programs more than 108,000 square feet of enterprising space to collaborate, create, and produce a wide spectrum of performing arts, in keeping with our long tradition of excellence.

The Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts exterior

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 Cinema building is a Jeffersonian Federal Revival style structure built in 1905. 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. 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 Cinema Building

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

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. Located in the Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, 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

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

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

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