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An insider’s look at the Performing Arts at RIT Athenaeum

coverLet’s face it. Sometimes 12 pages isn’t enough. And this is definitely one of those times.

The 1,000-word cover story for the February/March edition of Athenaeum—Performing Arts at RIT—just isn’t enough to fully convey the passion, commitment and dedication of our students and faculty who devote much of their time to dance, music and drama. Several pages of interview notes were whittled down in an attempt to give our readers an inside look at the scholars who display such devotion to their crafts.

Our story reinforces the fact that many students who are engaged in the performing arts choose to supplement their already full academic loads with selections of more than 40 credit-bearing, performing arts courses including Music Theory, Modern European Theater and Beethoven, to name just a few.

Throughout the course of writing this story, I had the opportunity to meet with Michael Ruhling, professor of performing arts/music; Carl Atkins, professor and director of performing arts; and Thomas Warfield, director of the NTID Dance Company, all of whom spoke at length about the value of a strong performing arts curriculum and the steps that RIT should take to ensure the continued success of the program.

Right brain or left brain? Nonsense.  I learned that participating in the performing arts uses both sides of the brain. It’s creative and fluid, and involves a high degree of technical ability and concentration. It’s both a craft and a science.

A series of videos produced by University News’ Matt Gregory accompanies our cover story, providing a glimpse of performing arts students in action.  To see the videos, go to the RIT University News YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/RITUniversityNews and search for “Performing Arts.” In addition, this week’s News & Events Daily Friday “Student Spotlight” features Gabrielle Potts, a fourth-year industrial design major and president of RIT’s Pep Band. To read the spotlight, check out tomorrow’s News & Events Daily at www.rit.edu/news.

Other featured stories in this issue include a look at RIT’s rich architectural past, present and future; an explanation of mind-blowing research being conducted by a computing and information sciences Ph.D. student who is using a series of complex equations to pinpoint the exact origins of heart attacks; and a fun piece about 3-D print technology used to design working, scale-models of musical instruments. To see a video about this last story, go to the RIT University News YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/RITUniversityNews and search for “RIT Printed Ukulele.”


NOTE: In the print edition of Athenaeum, photo credit for the images in the cover story and the cover photo was inadvertently left out. A. Sue Weisler, manager of photography for University News, spent many long hours creating the photography for this piece and we truly appreciate her time and energy to make it perfect.


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