The David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts was established in 2007 to provide a range of opportunities to research, study, create, produce, perform, and present ideas and issues in the arts. The Belcher College is comprised of programs in Art and Design, Music, and Stage and Screen.
Our faculty are actively involved in creative work, performance, and independent scholarship. They provide individualized instruction to our students pursuing studies in studio arts, graphic design, musical theatre, television and film production, art education and more.
The Belcher College is also dedicated to being a cultural hub for the region, offering performances, exhibitions and other creative arts programming throughout the year for the university and the larger community. Additionally, we have a significant number of regional partnerships that help enhance creative collaboration and access to the arts in Western North Carolina.
The David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts is the creative showcase for the University. Through its dedication to excellence and the integration of teaching, scholarship and service by its faculty, the Belcher College offers educational opportunities to a wide variety of students and the larger community. Through musical performances, theatre, dance, film, and the visual arts, the Belcher College is a unique and highly visible source of cultural enrichment that reaches far beyond the University community.
Scholarship and creative activity are integral to the mission of the Belcher College. The processes of creative thought and activity demonstrated by its faculty and students provide a lasting and sustainable contribution to the life of the mind and spirit. This role challenges the Belcher College to reveal and explore avenues of human expression in forms unique to the arts, and to seek innovative and integrated means for faculty and students to discover and create art which expresses both personal and community values.
The Mission of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts at Western Carolina University is to inspire, educate, and train our next generation of artists, scholars, and teachers in the intellectual foundations and creative processes of the fine and performing arts while fostering excellence and artistic curiosity across western North Carolina and beyond.
In support of its mission, the goals of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts are to:
Beyond this, the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts is committed to:
The faculty, staff, students, and leadership of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts affirm with this statement that we are an inclusive and welcoming artistic and educational community. We strive to create an artistic and scholarly home that reflects the people we serve, now and in the future, a home where everyone feels empowered to realize their full, authentic selves as a valued and contributing member. We foster academic achievement, artistic curiosity, freedom of expression, and personal integrity. We dignify and respect the individual as well as advance the practice of inclusiveness and acceptance of differing cultures, philosophies, identities, and ways of life regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or citizenship status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or parental status including pregnancy, political affiliation, age, or ableness. While we recognize historical and cultural struggles to embrace diversity, we believe in the power and passion of the fine and performing arts to positively and proactively influence our changing world, and commit to leveraging that power to ensure the inclusive world we desire.
Our diversity and inclusion efforts will therefore focus on:
Adopted January 16, 2020
Western Carolina University is situated in the northern Cullowhee Valley, centrally located along the Tuckasegee River in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina. This is the Cherokee homeland, and the Qualla Boundary, seat of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is located about 20 miles downstream from the campus area. It is the only public university established on the site of a named Cherokee town and a traditional sacred place.
Western Carolina University and the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts maintain program specific accreditations, certifications, endorsements, and memberships with: