The Arts

The Arts2019-03-04T14:56:48-05:00

Centre’s curriculum accommodates those who want to begin a career in the arts and those who just want to try a course or two.

The arts, no matter what form they take, are part of the daily educational experience at Centre College. Every student and member of the larger Centre community are encouraged to enjoy and participate.

Centre students are given the opportunity to take interdisciplinary courses, both on campus and abroad, such as “Molecular Modernism: Manet to Matisse,” cross-referenced as both an art history and a chemistry class. Or travel to Greece with a course exploring the intersection of math and drama.

Centre’s Norton Centre for the Arts hosts more than 100 world-renowned performers, speakers and musicians every year, many of whom conduct master classes for students. Imagine taking a class with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, or having your composition sight-read by The American String Quartet. Amazing moments like these happen regularly at Centre.


Centre students develop technical proficiency in specific areas of the arts, and our interdisciplinary approach to viewing and making art emphasizes critical thinking and writing. That, combined with our talented faculty and small student-faculty ratio, is just part of what makes us a top-50 liberal arts college.

The arts play an integral role in students’ college experience and throughout their lives of learning, leadership and service. We nurture our students’ interests through personal attention, countless opportunities to create and to participate, and of course, our very rich curricular offerings in glass, music, theater, dance, cinema, photography, art history, studio art, and creative writing.


Prefer to take the stage yourself? Opportunities abound for both majors and nonmajors, including:

students practicing a dance routine

Three major student productions—and many smaller shows— each year

the Centre College Choir performing

Centre Singers and other choral groups for men and women

the Centre Symphony Orchestra performing

Instrumental ensembles, including Centre Orchestra, CentreJazz, and the Kentucky Ensemble (a bluegrass, folk, and contemporary alternative country group)


Matthew Arnold

Matt Arnold ’96

CEO and president at Darkling Entertainment and creator and executive producer of NBC’s “Siberia” and “Emerald City.”
Grey Mumford

Grey Munford ’04

Senior Vice President of Communications at CBS
Kristi Hughes

Kristi Hughes ’98

One of the first six puppeteers ever to work for the internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil.
Mary Hall Surface

Mary Hall Surface ’81

Director, playwright, producer and teaching artist who creates theater for family audiences primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. Nominated for nine Helen Hayes Awards, she received the award in 2002 for Outstanding Director of a Musical.  She is the recipient of the Charlotte Chorpenning Prize from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education for her outstanding body of work as a playwright.
Stephen Rolfe Powell

Stephen Rolfe Powell ’74

Founder of Centre’s glass program, where he has taught since 1983. Powell is an internationally known glass artist whose elaborately colored glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world.