"There is always something to do with your friends: art shows, concerts, parties, lectures, movies..." Carly Jerome '11 Fort Collins, CO
The arts are central to life at Grinnell. The College brings celebrated artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and theatrical groups from all over the world to campus. These artists perform, exhibit, lead workshops, and sometimes teach classes, providing an ongoing stimulus to the entire community. 75 percent of students are actively engaged in one or more arts programs. The Bucksbaum Center for the Arts is the focal point for much of the arts community. It provides more than 129,000 square feet of space for artistic exhibition and exploration. The space includes classrooms and top-of-the-line studio space, a recital hall, two performance theatres, a scene shop, a studio theatre, a large art gallery, and individual practice spaces. Music lessons are offered in banjo, bass, low brass, cello, clarinet, flute, French horn, guitar, harp, harpsichord, jazz bass, jazz piano, lute, oboe, organ, percussion, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin, and voice.
- Music -- Sebring-Lewis Hall, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, technology labs
- Art -- ceramics studio, sculpture studio, painting studio, photo-documentary studio, printmaking studio, drawing studio, seminar rooms, digital art technology lab, Kistle Slide Library
- Theatre -- Roberts Theatre, Flanagan Studio Theatre, Wall Performance Lab, box office, scene shop, costume studio & storage, design studio, sound studio, dressing room & green room, dance studio, seminar rooms
- Faulconer Gallery -- gallery space for changing exhibitions, print and drawing study room in Burling Library, arts outreach classroom
Our formal arts program offers you incredible artistic opportunities. Grinnell also fosters a unique community of student artists and groups that occupy an entire spectrum of expression. Listed below is a selection of popular groups and media:
The music department hosts a number of intensive and inventive music ensembles, including:
- Chamber Ensembles
- Grinnell Oratorio Society
- Collegium Musicum
- Grinnell Symphony Orchestra
- Grinnell Singers
- Javanese Gamelan and Dance Ensemble
- Jazz Ensemble
- Latin American Ensemble
- Percussion Ensemble
- Symphonic Concert Band
- Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir
- Studio ensembles for flute and harp
G-Tones, Vox, Con Brio
These are Grinnell's ever-popular a capella groups. G-Tones is all-male, Vox is all-female, and Con Brio is comprised of both men and women. Members of these groups perform at many campus events, hold their own concerts, and participate in a capella competitions. Watch out--come Valentine's Day, that special someone may send you a G-Tones serenade!
Come down to Bob's Underground Cafe on Jazz Night, but leave your homework in your room! One night a week, this informal gathering turns the normally quiet coffee shop into an open jam session.
This annual CD is a compilation of performances by campus bands and open-mic performers. The campus band scene has a long and storied history at Grinnell, from the old theme dwelling Musik Haus to recent rockers Vegetable Medley.
The writing community sponsors this outside-class, all-are-welcome workshop. Writers submit work to the group on a weekly basis, and engage in a critique of others' work as well. Many students use this group to work on pieces for submission to The Grinnell Review.
Prison Writers' Workshop
The Grinnell Prison Workshop is a student-run group dedicated to volunteering at nearby prisons. Since 2003, Grinnell students have traveled regularly to the Newton Correctional Facility in Newton, Iowa, and more recently, the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa. These volunteers facilitate a variety of writing workshops and liberal arts-style courses as well as help with existing GED, ESL, and job training classes. This collaboration has a deep and lasting impact on both incarcerated and college students.
The Student Publications and Radio Committee is an all-student group that allocates funding for various student media. They create a budget that often includes independent publication of several students' comics, art books, and novels. SPARC also oversees all campus publications, including Grinnell's newspaper, the Scarlet & Black.
The Grinnell Review
This journal of art and literature is published once a semester. All students are invited to submit works to the Review, which are then judged by the student board. The process culminates at a public reading of the work and the distributing of monetary writing prizes.
Dance Troupe is the theatre department's faculty-directed dance company. Dancers participate in an ensemble environment four sessions per week and receive course credit. Students learn dance technique, choreography, performance technique, and dance company management.
This group offers an alternative to the Theatre department's traditional Dance Troupe. Student choreographers use contemporary music and a variety of modern styles (jazz, tap, kick, hip-hop and lyrical) to create a venue for all levels of dance experience.
Every year since 2000, Grinnell's resident envelope-pushers have choreographed a dance show that combines risque moves with social commentary. Dance numbers may involve whips, chains, ropes, religion, racism, or murder--as well as many scantily clad dancers!
Each week, the Grinnell Swing Society convenes for dancing, lessons, and great music. They host happenin' Harris parties and even swing conventions. A great way to relieve stress!
This brand-new gallery features student art year-round. Located in the Rosenfield Center, next to the dining hall, the gallery gets a lot of foot traffic. Any artist can submit a proposal for the space and use it to exhibit his or her work for several weeks.
Student photographers crouch in the front of lecture halls, risk injury on the sidelines of sports events, and even lug their precious cameras to parties and the Pub. Their hard work culminates in Grinnell's unconventional yearbook, composed entirely of photos. Drawing on a tradition of celebrating the nontraditional, the Cyclone documents life as it actuallyhappened.
The Faulconer Gallery in Bucksbaum presents exhibitions year-round, ranging from the annual Student Art Salon to traveling exhibitions from world-renowned artists. Students work with the professional staff of 5 as interns, gallery attendants, and arts outreach providers for the community. Classes often examine the college's art collection in the Print and Drawing Study Room in Burling Library, and may curate exhibitions drawn from the collection.
Grinnell's annual student film festival displays the campus' creativity. Students can check out top-of-the-line cameras from the AV Center or use their own to shoot original pieces. The film editing equipment and programs in the Creative Computing Lab allow filmmakers to refine their submissions. Recent entries included film noir, music video, cartoons, and even German existentialism. At the end of the school year, the committee screens all the films for an enthusiastic all-campus audience. Judges (and applause) decide the winners!
KDIC 88.5 is the Grinnell College radio station--but it certainly goes beyond so-called "college radio." Anyone can apply for a time slot. After that, it's up to you. Past shows have included student talk shows and opinion forums, every genre of music from punk to techno, and even the un-classifiable: students reading "Full House" scripts with cameos from philosophy profs.
Grinnell Independent Musical Productions (GIMP) is an entirely student-run organization that produces musicals year-round. Their repertoire includes shows that are popular as well as many that are off-the-beaten-track, including The GIMP Cabaret, Baby, Hair, Godspell, The Last Five Years, Zombie Prom, Floyd Collins, Urinetown the Musical, Hello Again, and Into the Woods. GIMP is also responsible for the Neverland Players, who adapt children's short stories (gleaned from local grade schoolers) for the stage.
The One-Act Festival features short plays chosen by students in the Directing seminar. These students pick the play, audition and cast the show, create stage directions, direct the actors, and debut their work at the festival. These shows are appealing because they often cast first-time or relatively inexperienced actors and showcase unconventional theatrical works.