Connect with other artists at Bates! Learn about our academics, arts-related clubs, upcoming events, performance opportunities, and much more.

Arts without boundaries

As an integral part of our distinctive liberal arts mission, Bates celebrates the arts in ways that are intensely collaborative and courageous. Like us, the arts are diverse and complicated — and like us, the arts have the power to transform.

Great artists from around the globe join our talented faculty, staff and students in exploring this power, in both formal presentations and casual encounters. As you might expect, it’s student creativity that burns brightest in this dynamic continuum: The same passion that drives students to study and major in Bates’ robust departmental arts offerings also leads them to bring what they’re learning to surprising venues and extracurricular ventures all around campus and beyond.

The arts are everywhere at Bates

In the classroom

Bates College offers five arts-related majors , a statistic which only scratches the surface in terms of the inclusion of arts across the curriculum.

At winter’s end comes the Mount David Summit, a showcase of student academic achievement. The arts component includes photography, film and literary presentations, and coincides with major departmental performances of dance and music.

On the stage

Bates College offers five arts-related majors , a statistic which Spaces like Schaeffer Theatre play host to a variety of professional and student-organized performances.

The Robinson Players, Bates’ student-run theater ensemble founded in the 1920s and supported by the Department of Theater and Dance, offer everything theatrical from traditional musicals to avant-garde one-acts. Every spring, the Rob Players produce a popular musical specifically for elementary students from Lewiston-Auburn.

A highlight of Bates’ distinctive Martin Luther King Jr. Day programming is the evening performance by Sankofa, exploring the vibrant cultures of the African Diaspora through music, spoken word and dance.

The Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work. The Festival fosters a creative exchange of ideas, encouraging exploration of new ground and providing opportunities to experience a wide spectrum of dance/movement disciplines. Artists, students and audiences share their knowledge and inspiration through workshops, jams, discussions, informal showings and performances.

In the chapel

Chapel is considered a favored by performance venue by many groups on campus including the choir and a cappella groups. It also hosts {PAUSE} — a short interlude of stillness, reflection and performance on Wednesday evenings. Organized by students, it’s presented by Bates’ Multifaith Chaplaincy.

An all-male group founded in 1957, the Deansmen launched Bates’ beloved a cappella tradition. Sharing the a cappella stage are the male Manic Optimists, co-ed ensembles Crosstones and TakeNote, and all-female Merimanders. Not a cappella but equally resounding are the Gospelaires.

On the quad

Whether it involves yarn bombing statues for a senior thesis project, photographing fall foliage, or hosting an impromptu guitar jam with friends, the quad is a popular place to relax and partake in the creation of art.

In the Museum of Art

As a teaching museum at a liberal arts college, the Bates College Museum of Art brings to campus a world of ideas that are vital to the intellectual and cultural life of Bates and its surrounding communities. It serves as a laboratory for nationally recognized, thought-provoking exhibitions, collections, art production, critical discussion and scholarship.

Each year the museum supports senior studio art majors through the Annual Senior Exhibition, which highlights work selected from their thesis projects.

Bates students also gain career and leadership experience through internships working with staff on exhibitions, collections and educational programs.

On the radio

The student-run radio station, WRBC-FM, is an expressive outlet for volunteer DJs from Lewiston-Auburn as well as Bates broadcasters. The station also sponsors concerts by Maine and national performers.

In the studio

Whether in the dance studios, a visual art studio, or the digital media studio, students are constantly busy exploring and perfecting their craft.

As they advance through the Art and Visual Culture curriculum, students are encouraged to innovate and work independently, especially in courses such as Building a Studio Practice and Visual Meaning. All studio majors develop a year-long thesis with the personal guidance of faculty, and their work mirrors the spectrum of contemporary visual practice. Projects include installation art, representational painting, traditional etching, alternative printmaking, digital photography, functional ceramics, sculpture, black and white photography, color photography, experimental processes, as well as interdisciplinary work that combines studies in other fields.

Student organizations complement the college’s burgeoning dance program. The Bates Ballroom Society presents a busy schedule of lessons and socials. The Freewill Folk Society’s monthly contradances, a traditional social dance form distinctive to the Northeast, attract folk dancers from all over the region. The Dynasty Step Team has put that dynamic African American group style front and center at Bates.

On paper and online

Bates students are simultaneously holding on to traditional forms of publication and pursuing alternative mediums of expression.

Student-edited publications provide contemplative venues for expression and reflection: SEED Magazine for word and image, the photography magazine Blonde and The Garnet, Bates’ student literary magazine since 1922.

The Bates Arts Society offers an online clearinghouse for student work in all media.

In the community

Sharing the arts with the off-campus community is an abiding priority across the arts disciplines and programs at Bates.

Bates students take the arts into local schools and youth-serving organizations, and bring young people to campus to enjoy diverse arts programs, offering access to art-making and art-inspired learning to thousands.

A standout student initiative is Bates Night in Town, created in collaboration with local merchants and restaurateurs: an uplifting celebration of food, fun and student-produced arts.

Not find what you are looking for? Click here to check out a list of all arts-related clubs and organizations on campus. Still coming up empty handed? Start a group of your own. Bates offers a wealth of resources and the opportunities are limitless.