Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Visual & Performing Arts! USC Aiken’s tradition of providing thoughtful activities, performances, and education in the fine and performing arts has enriched the community and surrounding region since its inception in 1961. Whether preparing for a career as an artist, teacher, actor, or scholar, a student wanting to learn, develop, or refine artistic skills, or a patron seeking continuing education in the arts, the Department of Visual & Performing Arts offers a range of programs, experiences, and courses to suit almost any area of interest.

Our programs integrate intellectual scholarship and creative practice, challenge assumptions about what is possible, and empower the individual. Artists view the world from new and unique perspectives, engage in creative problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration to connect disparate ideas in new ways, making the world a more humane and beautiful place. Artists are often called upon to wear many hats in the practice of their craft – as marketers, accountants, agents, legal experts, web designers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers – all while being musicians, actors, and visual artists. At USC Aiken, we seek to balance creativity, knowledge, and dispositions to prepare students for careers in the arts.

We offer degrees in fine arts (studio art, technology arts, theatre, and interdisciplinary studies), music (concentrations in instrumental, piano, and vocal studies), and music education (certification in choral and instrumental music). Students may also minor in art, art history, music, and theatre. Our faculty are practicing artists and scholars as well as dynamic educators. Small class sizes allow instructors to know students individually, encouraging one-on-one interaction and mentoring. We are committed to providing high quality, distinctive experiences for all students and patrons.

I invite you to attend a performance, visit an art exhibit, listen to a gallery talk or master class, or participate in one of our continuing education opportunities. Explore the department through our website or read the following pages to discover the exciting opportunities provided by our faculty. Learn how you can support the many offerings we provide. It’s all within your reach.

Thank you for your interest and please let us know how we can serve you.

Joel Scraper, DMA

Chair, Department of Visual & Performing Arts


USC Aiken is proud to be an All-Steinway School and a member institution of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). 

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