Revamped Community of Artists welcomes incoming students

Two students enjoy the Community of Artists located in Trinkle Hall.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is completely revamping the Community of Artists themed housing in Trinkle Hall this academic year into a living-learning environment.

This year, all aspects of the program are being organized, or composed, by Dana Trask, Assistant Advising Coordinator for the CVPA.

While she’s the composer, she’s had help from her orchestra – the Community of Artists Faculty Advisory Board, which consists of Carlee Bradbury, associate professor of art; Amy VanKirk, assistant professor of dance; Tammy Robinson, associate professor of design; Tim Channell, associate professor of music; and Wesley Young, professor of theatre.

Originally designed to include 50 students, enrollment was expanded to 56 to include as many of the competitive CVPA applicants as possible. This year, the Community of Artists is a new version of an old concept.

“The Community of Artists is a living-learning community,” said Trask. “Trinkle Hall has always been the location of the Community of Artists, but in the past, it’s had less intentional programming. They were more focused on getting the College of Visual and Performing Arts students to live in Trinkle Hall.”

Part of the new Community of Artists’ programming is a unique University 100 course that is specifically designed for the 56 students in the living-learning community.

“There are two sections, and we’re going to tie them together. They’re going to have a lot of similar projects and have monthly workshops focused on all different areas within the arts,” Trask said. “We’re trying to get a lot more going on and a lot more faculty involvement from different areas.”

University 100 courses focus on time management techniques, learning styles, informed decision making, social life at college, critical thinking and tools on how to become a better student. For those in the Community of Artists, it has a distinct flavor.

“There are concepts that are usually included in the University 100 course, like staying healthy,” Trask said. “For the Community of Artists sections, we can talk about why it’s important for artists or performers to stay healthy and how that can impact not only personal growth, but also the entire performance or the group dynamic."

CVPA is also planning on hosting monthly workshops, such as sessions that discuss appropriate social media use, stress management and designing websites to promote artists, Trask said.

The Community of Artists is planning events to bring the entire college together – even those who are not part of the living-learning community.

“We also want to do some fun things," Trask said. “Last year, we did a test-run of a Halloween makeup workshop."

In addition to the planned activities, the Community of Artists is looking to capitalize upon a trait that Radford University is already known for: outstanding student-teacher relationships.

"The Community of Artists will be a nice way for faculty to get to know students outside their departments," Trask said. "Again, we’re hoping for collaboration and to increase college-wide activities and college-wide support.”

Through this planned programming, the purpose of the Community of Artists is clear: to support each other.

“We’re hoping the students get the feeling that they are part of something bigger – not just part of their cohort, but a part of their major, part of their college and part of Radford University as a whole,” Trask said.

To further foster the feeling of being a part of something bigger, the Community of Artists will welcome students from the second they open the door to their new home.

They have packaged welcome bags that are individualized for each student.  While they are primarily for the students' use, the bags contain one item not just for them on move-in day: there’s a small box of tissues in the bag for family members, too.

Aug 12, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749