Miami University in Oxford, OH: Home to a great hockey team, a beautiful campus, and a renowned business school. When most people think of Miami, many think of a preppy, well-dressed student in the Farmer School of Business. However, Miami is more than just that.
College is the place where you find yourself. You finally get to be who YOU want to be and do what YOU want to do. It’s a formative time in one’s life that should be used to the fullest, but, I often get the sense that some people aren’t reaching outside their comfort zones.
Miami should be a place to let your creative flag fly, and where you have the freedom to express yourself. That ability is sometimes stunted by that stereotype given to the students, whether they be current or prospective, and holds many back from letting their creativity and passion flow.
As a business and arts student here at Miami, I can attest it is possible to reach outside your comfort zone and do something you never knew existed. I knew where to look and what to do to achieve my goals, but many others do not have that luxury. Fear no more, I have compiled a list of not just a few, but SEVEN, of the many opportunities to get involved in the arts here on Miami’s campus.
1. Join an Acapella Group
If you don’t have the chance to do an arts related major, this might be the place for you. Here at Miami, we have 5 collegiate a cappella groups that you have the opportunity to join. A mixture of female, male, and co-ed groups, the options are endless. The Miami Misfitz (@MiamiMisfitz) and the TrebleMakers (@mutreblemakers) make up the all-female groups on campus while Open Fifth (@openfifth) and Soul2Soul (@soul2soulmu) make up the all-male counterparts. Last, and certainly not least, Just Duet (@justduetacappella) rounds out the a cappella groups on campus as the only co-ed group to grace the stage. From personal experience, each one of these groups exudes so much talent and energy every time they perform and put on one heck of a show.
For more information on each group or when auditions are taking place, check them out on social media!
2. Take an Art Class
If singing isn’t necessarily your thing, Miami offers a plethora of intro art classes on campus that could satisfy your art itch. Options range from Intro to Photography, Intro to Sewing, Intro to Painting, Intro to Ballet, and more. Sophomore year I took an intro to ballet class to brush up on my skills, and it was exactly what I needed to keep my technique on point. I also just started Intro to Photography and my knowledge of cameras has soared since the first class. You have the chance to take full semester classes or sprint classes, whatever works for you. Regardless, definitely take advantage of what Miami has to offer, you never know what new passions you will discover.
Click here to take a look at the course list for all the available classes. Just choose the next term, your campus, and either ART, THE, or CCA to see what classes are coming up for the next semester.
3. Visit the Art Museum
Many people do not know, but Miami has their very own Art Museum located right on our campus. Sitting pretty at 801 S Patterson Ave by Western campus, this public space hosts many student as well as professional art exhibits and collections throughout the year. It also doubles as an event venue for special occasions. If you just admire art from afar and don’t necessarily like to be on stage or on display, this place is just right for you. Even better: admission is FREE! They are open Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., and closed Sunday - Monday and University Holidays (September 1, October 13, and November 21-24) with business Hours on Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Check out the website for more info on the exhibitions and events going on at the MU Art Museum.
4. Audition for a Dance Club
About halfway through the list and you feel like you haven’t found the answer? Do you sometimes feel like you get a huge rush of adrenaline when you bust a move? The solution to your constant need to move might be auditioning for one of the many dance organizations on campus. Miami’s Dance Team has been ranked in the top 5 nationally over the past few years, quite a feat! If you aren’t the competition type, you also have the option to try out for Dance Theatre, Vision Dance Company, or MU Hip Hop. There’s definitely a type of dance for everyone with all these organizations. Each one has its own charm and some killer routines that you will just have to see for yourself.
Check out the hub or social media for more info on audition dates and upcoming shows to see if they are the right fit for you.
5. Attend an MUFD Show
If you LOVE fashion, than this club is for you. Each spring, MUFD hosts their annual fashion show where about 60 models have the opportunity to show off their runway skills and showcase to the student body the designs of their peers. This spectacle is something you definitely don’t want to miss. Along with modeling and design committees, you have the chance to get involved in helping out with strategic partnerships with companies like Aveda, testing your finance skills in a fashion setting, or even help the event planning committee with events throughout leading up to the show itself. I had the chance to be an Executive Event planning assistant for the 2017 show and let me tell you, it was the experience of a lifetime. I will never forget the relationships cultivated, the knowledge acquired, and the rush of adrenaline from the show itself. Great experience for those looking to get into the fashion industry under some capacity.
2. Check out the Hub
If you aren’t aware, The Hub is the place where all organizations on Miami’s campus live. You can access it through your MyMiami account from the left side of your dashboard or just by simply typing in “The Hub Miami University” into your search engine. All you need are your Miami login credentials and you’re set. You can search for all the clubs and organizations on campus that were mentioned above, and find a plethora of other arts related groups not mentioned above. Even if the arts aren’t your thing (thank you for making it this far in the list, btw), there is most definitely an org or club for you. This was the best tool upon my arrival at Miami and how I came to find the club I am most involved in today; shout-out to Miami Activities and Late Night Programming, aka MAP, who have given me the opportunity to plan arts & entertainment events for the university.
Check out The Hub website for more information on how to get involved in the arts (or more) at Miami.
1. Join the Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Program
Last, and most certainly not least, you have the chance to join US, the Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Program here at Miami. I was fortunate to join this up-and-coming program during my freshman year, and I have not regretted. Starting as a minor and now a co-major, I have learned more than I could have even imagined I would get out of my college education. The professors come with mounds of knowledge and experiences of the arts that soar beyond the cornfields of Oxford, Ohio. Depending on your major and your interests, you can explore the arts world in a way that best fits you and gain the knowledge you will need for your future career. With a wide array of students already enrolled in the program, each class comes with viewpoints and ideas from some extremely creative minds. Whether they be similar or polar opposite to your own thinking, it’s a great way to expand, challenge, and discuss the arts in a safe, comfortable environment.
To learn more about this program, sit down with Todd Stuart or Willie Caldwell and explore our website at www.miamioh.edu/artsmanagement (which is probably how you got here in the first place… just keep exploring, its pretty cool).
Alex Vancura is a senior Management and Leadership major with an Arts Management co-major from Boston, MA. Upon graduation in May, she hopes to pursue a career in the Entertainment industry based on the knowledge learned from the Arts Management and Entrepreneurship program along with her experience as the Director of Arts & Entertainment in MAP.