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Arts & Entertainment

From Duke’s founding, the arts have been an expression of university life, bringing together members of the community for concerts, exhibitions, and productions—giving intellectual and emotional textures to daily experiences. Duke strives to enrich the student and faculty experience in the arts, wishing to create an environment where the arts are clearly valued and widely supported.


Play— Explore new realms of musical creativity and refine performance skills in courses, one-on-one instrumental lessonsmaster classes and ensembles. At Duke, you’ll encounter talented peers, challenging scholars and a great intellectual diversity.

Listen— Absorb the melodies of the Jazz EnsembleSymphony Orchestra, and celebrated guest artists in Baldwin Auditorium, located on East Campus. Two years of construction and a $15 million renovation have resulted in a stunningly transformed Baldwin and is a world-class venue for many of Duke Performances’ classical and jazz concerts.


Perform— The Dance Program offers multi-level African, Ballet, Modern, and Jazz technique and repertoire classes as well as a dance major and minor. A variety of solo and group performing opportunities are also offered, which include working with faculty and student choreographers and invited guest artists and musicians. The Ark and Hull Avenue studios, located on East Campus and Hull Ave., respectively, serve as the main instructional and rehearsal spaces for faculty and students.

Watch— The Duke dance experience is enriched by professional touring productions, in-house concerts, and student dance organizations. Duke Performances are held at both on-campus in spaces such as Reynolds Theatre, and off-campus locations such as the Durham Performing Arts Center.


Perform— The Department of Theater Studies offers students multiple opportunities to both study and practice theater, with courses in dramatic literature and theater arts. The department faculty includes theater professionals in acting, administration, design, directing and playwriting.

Watch— Courses are accompanied by productions from all over the world, and the department invites numerous award-winning theater artists to campus each year. Performances by Duke Players Student Group, the student organization of the Department of Theater Studies, and Hoof 'n' Horn, the entirely student-run musical theatre organization, are held across campus at spaces such as Page Auditorium and Reynolds Theatre.

Visual & Media Arts

Do— Art, Art History & Visual Studies classes range from the fine arts to the psychology of perception to the context of art in popular culture and social media. The Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) Program introduces students to the production and critical analysis of film, photography, television, and digital media. The Center for Documentary Studies offers an interdisciplinary program in the documentary arts, providing darkrooms, multimedia labs and screening rooms.

View— The Nasher Museum of Art is a major hub for the arts on campus, featuring temporary exhibits by renowned and local artists and a growing contemporary collection. The Arts Annex, located on Campus Drive, houses painting, ceramics, screen printing, and photography studios.

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Program Minor offers courses that cover a spectrum of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essay, memoir, travel writing, documentary writing, theater, and more. The program allows students to develop skills in writing, editing, critiquing and creative thinking, enabling them to pursue careers in writing and the publishing industry.

Duke Performances

The professional performing arts presenting organization at Duke, Duke Performances is committed to presenting willfully eclectic, forward-thinking performing arts of the highest quality. Annually, Duke Performances presents a robust season of 60-70 performances spanning classical, new music, jazz, Americana, independent rock, international music, theater and dance. Duke undergrad and graduate students can purchase tickets to any Duke Performances event for just $10.


Artstigating is a way for students to build their own arts culture on campus, because every great university needs an energized and active arts community. Here are three ways to artstigate:

1. Email us at about events we can promote and any ideas or questions.
2. Follow us @artstigators on Instagram and Twitter and spread the word!
3. Tag photos/videos #artstigators to share your artstigating in action.