College of Arts and Media: Introducing the New Collaborative Community

By Traci Williams

Male and female design students collaborating on project

The College of Fine Arts and Production at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is on a mission to build a more creative and collaborative community within its student body and the university. To launch this effort, the college is getting a new name: the College of Arts and Media

“One of our main goals for this new brand is to get people to think differently about what we do,” says Dr. Craig Detweiler, dean of the college. “And what we do is all art and media, whether it’s expressed on a stage, behind a camera or on a computer. We want to close the gap between these two media.”

Arts and Media: A Timeless Practice

This blending of arts and media studies is not a novelty, but rather a rebirth of a timeless practice. Since the Renaissance, artists have been commissioned by churches to worship God through art and music. As a Christian university, GCU aims to reclaim and build upon this rich, artistic heritage that glorifies God, and Dr. Detweiler is the right leader for the job. He joined GCU in 2021 and has extensive knowledge in merging arts, culture and theology. As the dean of the College of Arts and Media, Dr. Detweiler wants to ensure students have the opportunities to collaborate with one another as they communicate timeless truths through contemporary media.

Building a Collaborative Community

The College of Arts and Media (CAM) is the home of graphic design, web design, animation, film production, dance, music, screenwriting, social media and theatre students. Although each student and degree program is unique, there is one word that is best used to describe this entire community: creative.

As a part of this creative community, all CAM students are encouraged to build upon this common thread and work with one another to become multi-media communicators. In today’s marketplace, artists need to stand out; they need to find their unique voice and purpose. To be successful, they also need to move beyond their chosen media and collaborate with others to share their art. This is what the College of Arts and Media inspires through its curriculum and community. To help paint a clearer picture, here are a few ways CAM students are encouraged to work together:

  • Dance majors collaborate with digital film majors to record their performances and create a video narrative of their work.
  • Musicians work with graphic designers to create the art and design for the cover of their next album.
  • Screenwriters promote their writing skills through a professional website with the help of web designers.
  • Production and screenwriting majors collaborate to bring a story to life, from the page to the screen or stage.
  • All artists work with savvy social media majors to promote their work to their target audiences.

Going Outside the Walls of Arts and Media

Creating a collaborative community within the College of Arts and Media is just the beginning. The opportunities for students to collaborate across Grand Canyon University’s nine colleges are limited only by creativity and motivation.

The Center for Worship Arts is a keen example of a collaborative achievement for GCU. A partnership between the College of Theology and the College of Arts and Media produced unique worship arts degree programs that combine theology, music and worship experiences for the purpose of gospel ministry. 

So, whether you are a STEM student, an education major, or pursuing your business leadership degree, the College of Arts and Media has an engine of more than 1,000 music, visual and digital arts students to help you enhance your work and get it in front of the right audience.

Storytellers Welcome. Stories Wanted.

At GCU, there are so many beautiful stories to share. From current students to alumni, scholarship recipients to GCU Havocs members — every Lope has a story. At the College of Arts and Media, the students are the storytellers.

Join the CAM community, share your stories with us and let the collaboration begin! If you want to better understand your calling as a Christian in the arts and media realm, visit the College of Arts and Media page or click on Request Info to learn more. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.