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Student actors.

About Us

college of visual and
performing arts

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Student in performance

An exceptional arts education awaits. 

Challenge yourself. Grow. Become who you’ve always wanted to be. Our programs are designed to push your creative boundaries while supporting you every step of the way.


Purdue University Fort Wayne is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

The mission of the College of Visual and Performing Arts is to

  • provide, within a broadly based curriculum, exceptional professional and liberal arts degree programs which combine creative development in an artistic discipline with career preparation through individualized instruction;
  • offer culturally enriching opportunities to all students and members of the university and regional communities;
  • be recognized as the major regional arts resource through creative and scholarly excellence in artistic performance, productions, exhibitions, library holdings and technology; and
  • be recognized as the center for arts education, outreach, collaboration, and professional leadership in northeastern Indiana.

VPA will be recognized for preparing students to succeed as life-long learners and arts professionals through

  • interaction with exceptional artist/scholar teachers;
  • preparation in the best specialized facilities in the region on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus, in satellite locations and through the technology of distance education;
  • awarding of prestigious degrees from Purdue University; and
  • experiential/service learning, and outreach collaboration throughout northeastern Indiana.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts values

  • the highest academic, artistic, and ethical standards;
  • the cultivation of creativity;
  • continuous personal and professional growth;
  • artistic and scholarly collaboration;
  • interdisciplinary inquiry and scholarship; and
  • diversity, equity, and inclusion.

After the university finished its 2021–25 strategic plan, we decided it was time to align ourselves more directly with the university vision. The results of a yearlong endeavor by the faculty and staff of the College of Visual and Performing Arts for our new strategic plan can be found below.

The creation of this plan was done with input from all members of the college and was facilitated by a hardworking and determined steering committee. The faculty and staff overwhelmingly endorsed the completed effort, which focuses on the following four main aspirational pillars: 

  • Improve student success, retention, and recruitment 
  • Enhance experiential learning beyond the classroom 
  • Increase community engagement 
  • Elevate state-of-the-art academic programs

Community Partners

Making a difference—together.

Community partners are essential to the development and growth of our programs. The College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to collaborating with and supporting regional arts organizations.

We provide rehearsal, performance, and office space for several regional arts groups that are companies-in-residence at Purdue Fort Wayne, including the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Greater Fort Wayne Area Community Band, Fort Wayne Youth Orchestra, Mikautadze Dance Theatre, Playground 630, and Unity Performing Arts Foundation.

We employ Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians as music faculty and provide office space and business facilities on campus for the organization.

We support development of Fort Wayne downtown through concerts in churches, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the Allen County Public Library (ACPL); and through student and faculty art exhibitions at the ACPL, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and other local businesses.

We also collaborate with a variety of non-arts-related community partners to provide educational opportunities for our students while enhancing economic development and providing artistic services to the community. Here are a few examples:

  • Internships for visual communication and design students at the Allen County Economic Development Alliance, the History Center, and Sweetwater
  • Creative graphic design work by our students and faculty through the Purdue University Fort Wayne Center for Industrial Innovation and Design
  • Workshops and presentations for teachers and students with K-12 regional schools

To find out more about how you can become a community partner of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, please call the dean’s office at 260-481-6977.

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Graduates Each Year


Full-time and Part-time Faculty


Art and Performance Major and Minor Students


Amount in Scholarships Awarded Each Year


Spaces to inspire creativity and promote learning double to accommodate amazing performances. In the Visual Arts Building you’ll find classrooms and studios filled with students creating pottery, sculptures, metal works, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, websites, and graphic design projects. Williams Theatre boasts a semi-thrust stage and state-of-the-art lighting, along with housing the scene shop, costume shop, rehearsal space, and administrative offices. The Rhinehart Music Center opened in the fall of 2007 and is home to the Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Recital Hall, classrooms, practice rooms, and offices. Sweetwater Music Center is home to the popular music and music industry programs; learning spaces include a recording studio, teaching lab, editing suites, classroom, and collaboration center. The Dolnick Learning Center is home to the Music Therapy Clinic, with four treatment rooms, two offices, a computer lab, and a full collection of instruments.