Arts and culture: Wayne State's 'in the center of it all'

July 25, 2017

Wayne State’s influence in the arts has been felt in Detroit for several decades. The university’s sprawling campus is “in the center of it all,” with a prominent footprint situated among such cultural icons as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Detroit Historical Museum and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, to name a few.

The College for Fine, Performing and Communication Arts plays a major role as Wayne State’s cultural gateway, enlivening Detroit’s social cityscape. CFPCA’s exhibits, lectures and performances draw nearly 100,000 people to Midtown annually, connecting the university's more than 27,000 students and 7,000 employees to the community and its museums, galleries, libraries, theatres and other venues as students showcase their artwork and perform on stage.

Student artists engage with the community through various programs such as the Mobile Arts Workshop, which brings art and music to Detroit neighborhoods each summer. Performance/Exchange, a free artist-in-residence program, places Wayne State theatre students in K-12 classrooms to create interactive learning experiences. The Hilberry Theatre is home to the nation's first and longest-running university graduate repertory theatre.

J.C. Heard JazzWeek@Wayne assembles a diverse group of high school students from urban, rural and suburban settings. Following a competitive audition, 40 students are selected for the free program and guided by jazz faculty, guest artists from the Detroit community, and national artists and educators sponsored by the Detroit Jazz Festival.

Through the CFPCA programs, students benefit from expert faculty and state-of-the-art resources, winning top rankings in national and international competitions and tournaments. 

Included among Wayne State’s alumni are a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and recipients of, and nominees for, the Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe, Obie, Screen Actors Guild and Caldecott awards.

Wayne State University’s community of artistic students, faculty and alumni enrich the communities through their artistic expression and their engagement within Midtown Detroit and beyond.

Over the coming months, look for videos, stories and events featuring some of the many Wayne State initiatives and passionate individuals committed to the arts and culture. This content is part of WSU's Warriors in Action campaign highlighting how Wayne State makes a difference in Detroit and beyond.