About the School of Fine Arts

Kenneth BoultonAs we enter the 2019-20 academic year, I am thrilled to be a part of this university and community as we continue cultivating a true center for the arts. This is an extraordinary time for the arts at Northern, with renovated state-of-the-art facilities, passionate faculty commitment, and a dynamic collaborative mission.

Northern's School of Fine Arts enjoys a much-deserved reputation as the premier arts destination in the upper Midwest. This is reflected in the community's deep sense of pride in our accomplishments, as well as a rich tradition of ambitious achievement from our faculty and students. This special tradition will be on full display this season, as we celebrate two incredible milestones: the 50th anniversary of the South Dakota Jazz Festival and the 100th anniversary of the Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony. You will not want to miss what we have planned!

I am proud of Northern's commitment to providing a superior education in the visual and performing arts, where students develop their talents, refine their passions and ultimately become leaders in their chosen fields. We also succeed in creating an academic environment that encourages students to explore a multitude of artistic opportunities, wherever their talents lead them. Truly, our students do it all!

With this brochure, I hope you enjoy the chance to look back on the past year, preview the exciting 2019-20 season and consider contributing to the School of Fine Arts' growing base of support. As always, I look forward to sharing and celebrating our bright future with you.


Warm regards,

Dr. Kenneth O. Boulton

Dean, School of Fine Arts

NSU Chamber Singers rehearse outside
School of Fine Arts Mission Statement

The School of Fine Arts at Northern State University is a vibrant and growing regional center for the arts, in which students and faculty are focused on creating, performing, teaching, interpreting, and thinking critically about the arts.

The faculty, practicing professional artists in their respective fields, are fully invested in the mission of the university, and committed to the planning and promotion of collaborative cultural and academic opportunities for our students and public.  Central to this commitment is maintaining and expanding dynamic relationships with arts educators throughout the region, and providing effective support for public and private school teachers, individual instructors, and alumni in the field.

The faculty believe in personalized mentorship to students, as well as maintaining an awareness of each student’s distinct background and how best to align each individual with professional standards and expectations.  The faculty recognize the value of working together for the betterment of our students, cultivating a supportive arts community that embraces diversity of background and thought. 

The School of Fine Arts actively creates major opportunities for students of all levels to display and develop their talents, thus continuing our culture of accomplishment and success.


School of Fine Arts Strategic Plan

Former Faculty

At Northern, talented faculty will inspire you to grow as an artist and excel in your chosen passion. Our school has a long and illustrious history of influence in the arts of the region.