The Division of the Arts unifies and catalyzes the arts at UW–Madison. We support and promote the missions of the academic arts departments and affiliated partners, foster interdisciplinary collaborations, deepen the student experience, build community engagement, and advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access across the arts.
Vision: The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere
- The arts will be accessible to every person in all parts of their life.
- At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the arts will be broadly understood as integral to realizing its teaching, research, and outreach missions, its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access, and to the Wisconsin Idea.
- The University of Wisconsin–Madison will be recognized as a leader in creating interdisciplinary collaborative communities of practice in the arts and in supporting inquiry across diverse disciplines in multiple schools, colleges, and student-led groups.
The Division of the Arts unifies, convenes, catalyzes, encourages engagement in and advocates on behalf of the arts.
Goals: The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere
- Students will experience the arts in diverse aspects of their education and will embrace the importance of the arts in their lives.
- Faculty and staff will see the Division as a partner and a resource in furthering their teaching, research, and outreach in the arts.
- Campus leaders will steadfastly engage leaders in the arts in decision making and initiatives that advance the mission of the university.
- Arts programming and communications will significantly improve inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at UW–Madison.
- Arts departments and co-curricular units will thrive and grow, and there will be a cohesive, recognizable, and powerful campus arts community.
- The Division will function as catalyst and convener with and for the academic arts programs in creating interdisciplinary programming.
- The Division will be a robust and essential presence in the Madison community and a strong force in creating mutually beneficial community partnerships.
Guiding Principle: The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere
The arts offer greater understanding of the world, express and challenge points of view, explore and address injustices, and celebrate all aspects of humanity and the world around us. The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere affirms the belief that everyone should be able to participate in the arts and that:
- the arts enhance our culture, broaden our perspectives, and deepen our understanding of the world around us, allowing us to innovate, grow, and change
- artists, designers, architects, performers, educators, and creative scholars are essential to solving problems and advancing civil society
- all forms of artistic expression, experience, and interpretation are fundamental paths to making meaningful progress in inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) at UW–Madison and communities beyond campus
- interdisciplinarity can break down barriers and silos, advance intellectual artistic diversity, and give opportunities to people who do not fit into the traditional modes of inquiry and practice
- freedom of artistic and creative expression is critical to the human spirit, the development of vibrant cultures, and the functioning of democratic societies
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)
Inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) are sources of creativity, excellence, and innovation. Building our communities around these values fosters cultural understanding and connection. IDEA creates the conditions for more honest, just, and compassionate relationships, which in turn creates a greater sense of belonging. Belonging goes beyond inclusion to mean that individuals feel welcomed, valued, and involved in shaping their communities, as well as empowered to express their needs and receive care.
Arts and IDEA
All forms of artistic expression, experience, and interpretation are tools for activating these values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in communities. The arts hold a unique power to challenge dominant ways of thinking and being, to offer greater understanding of the world, and to transform how we relate to one another. Furthermore, we believe that interdisciplinary practice in the arts can dismantle barriers and build bridges, cultivate intellectual artistic diversity, and offer opportunities to people who have been excluded from traditional modes of inquiry and practice.
IDEA at Division of the Arts
The Division commits to removing all oppressive systems and ideologies within our organization, which requires an equitable distribution of resources, shared power, and shifts in institutional practices that uphold white supremacy and other discriminatory ideologies. Division leadership and staff are working to center inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in all of our programming and practices. To learn more about the concrete steps we are taking and for updates on our progress, please visit our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee webpage.