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Inquiring Minds: Faith, Reason and Justice rock – but what about Art?

We need more fine arts at Eastern.

That is, we need more fine arts activities at Eastern. We already have a dance, theatre and music department. We already have a writing major. We already have professors who love and promote the arts, thinking and talking about the connection between what we believe and how we create.

What we don’t have is the full integration of all this into everybody’s campus life.

The fine arts presentations we have now are often poorly advertised and scarcely attended. Windows on the World occasionally has a fine arts presentation, but mostly focuses on justice issues. Senior music recitals occur every spring, but often draw less than 50 people. And although a classical music concert happened at Eastern this semester, it was scheduled during spring break.

The most highly attended cultural events here, not counting graduation, are concerts by bands operating primarily in the Christian music subculture, not serious artists. (Calvin College – while it has a much bigger budget than Eastern – manages to bring in thoughtful musicians like Sufjan Stevens and Sigur Ros, Christian or not.)

The only highly visible tributes we have to the fine arts are the displays on the walls of McInnis, where they are easily ignored by busy students, and theatre productions, like our favorite, the Performing Arts Living Room.

The problem is that we have no center for the arts. There is no single place or person on campus dedicated to promoting the fine arts at Eastern, forcing everyone to face the issue of art and to think about its integration with faith.

There won’t be a fine arts center here anytime soon, if for no other reason than the time it takes to build one.

But regardless of that, we need someone whose sole job is to promote the fine arts at Eastern. The person would be a go-between, partly in Student Development, partly in the faculty. The job would be administrative in application, but academic in nature; the person would not just work to promote the arts, but think about the way they relate to faith – and make the rest of Eastern think about that too.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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