College of Fine & Performing Arts


The goal of the College of Fine and Performing Arts is to nurture a comprehensive understanding of the languages of movement art, visual art, theatre art and music in order to create thinking artists and artistic thinkers who will shape culture in the 21st century.

To fulfill this mission, the College of Fine and Performing Arts aims:

  • To maintain a viable connection with the liberal arts tradition of the university.
  • To equip students with the creative and intellectual tools necessary for success in the arts.
  • To enable students to value, understand and challenge traditional concepts.
  • To maintain an environment that supports diversity, reflection and dedication to creative pursuits.
  • To promote critical thinking, innovative ideas and active arts leadership.
  • To provide world class and multicultural experiences in the arts for both students and members of the community.
  • To prepare students for a dynamic, lifelong relationship with the arts.


The College of Fine and Performing Arts promotes a lifelong relationship with the arts that enhances, challenges and inspires both the individual and the community.

Strategic Priorities

Student Success​

Students in the CFPA receive a rigorous arts experience with distinguished and dedicated faculty. Alumni from the CFPA have received national attention for their talents. Supporting students is one way we attract the most talented artists out there. Each department in the CFPA has one $1800 tuition waiver available, with Theater and Dance sharing a waiver. These waivers provide essential funding for students, who are then able to devote their attention to their work. 

Program Support

Renovation and upgrades of spaces would enhance educational experiences and encourage student success. CFPA is also responsible for the oversight, installation, and maintenance of the Western Gallery and the Sculpture Collection. In addition to fine and performing arts majors, CFPA also supports a STEAM minor for non-art major students who wish to take studio courses. CFPA would like to expand new course possibilities such as Scientific Illustration and a course titled “The Art and Science of Compassion.” CFPA also supports an Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation cohort. 

Faculty Development

In the past four years, CFPA has hired 14 new faculty. Faculty support includes attracting dedicated teachers and artists and supporting those faculty with funding for conferences and professional organizations.​

Community Outreach

The CFPA includes among its fundraising priorities the acquisition of Sculpture Woods, which has a goal of $1.5 million. So far, $750,000 has been raised. CFPA is also raising money for the Susan Bennerstrom Prize, named for a noted Bellingham artists, for a rising senior studio art major. The first Susan Bennerstrom Prize was awarded this spring.