School of Visual and Performing Arts


National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Music 



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Main Campus
Sullivan Hall
Suite 1200
2801 West Bancroft
Toledo, Ohio 43606

fax. 419.530.7359

Tri-College Student Services
University Hall, Room 3000

School of Visual and Performing Arts - About SVPA

DIRECTOR's Greeting

Portrait Debra Davis

Debra A. Davis
Artwork and Bio

portrait Edmund Lingan

Edmund Lingan
Interim Assistant Director

Portrait Asssoc. Dean Holly Monsos

Holly Monsos
Associate Dean
Costume Designs and Bio

It is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the students, faculty, staff and alumni to the The School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA) in the College of Arts and Letters.

The School website is designed to assist you with information on our activities, events, and academic programs. The School proudly houses the Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and Film. The School of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Art is accredited by the National Schools of Art and Design and the Department of Music, by the National Association of Schools of Music. We offer seven bachelor's degrees, a Bachelor and Master of Art Education and Music Education and a Master of Music Performance.

We are located on two campuses, the Main Campus where you will find the Center for Performing Arts and the director’s office. The Museum Campus features the Center for the Visual Arts, designed by internationally-renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry.  Both faculty and students across the school are practicing artists and scholars who regularly perform, present and exhibit locally, regionally, and nationally. Faculty scholars and artists are internationally active as well.

The SVPA shares rewarding partnerships with the Toledo Museum of Art, WGTE, The Toledo Symphony Orchestra, The Arts Commission, and the Glacity Theatre Collective, as well as other colleges and departments throughout the University.  

Faculty and Student Activities

Several visual and performing arts faculty have been awarded funds to pursue research activities and projects. Projects cover a broad spectrum from recovering the nearly lost history of music in African-American one-room schoolhouses to a documentary on how home gardeners are sprouting into political activists, to international travel projects.
Dr. David Jex received an ASCAP Plus grant from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. It was used to support the completion and performance of the Ballet Theater of Toledo premiere of "The Great Pancake Escape," in March at the Valentine Theatre.
Dr. Pamela Stover, assistant professor of Music Education, is spending eight weeks of her summer researching the history of music in African-American one-room schools. The $15,000 grant was awarded by The Research Council under its Summer Research Awards and Fellowship Program. This challenging project will document the use of music in African-American one-room schools, mostly in post-Civil War south, but also in northern states.  Dr. Stover says, “From preliminary research is it clear that this will not be a ‘quick and easy’ project but will require digging into remote archives to properly chronicle the musical lives of African-American children who attended one-room schools.”
Dr. Stover’s work will form the basis for some of the chapters in her upcoming book, Singing with the Schoolmarm. It will cover music in one-room schools from the Colonial period through the 1970’s. Final copy for the book will be written in the summer of 2017, while Stover is a Fellow of the American Association of University Women. The AAUW awarded Stover a $6,000 Short-Term Research Publication Grant to complete the book.
Holly Hey, associate professor of film and Head of the Film Program, has received a $15,000 University Research Funding Opportunities (URFO) grant to produce a 15-minute sample of a longer broadcast-length documentary entitled "The Garden Project." The sample will be used to seek additional external development and finishing funds from sources like the Roy W. Dean Grants and ITVS Funding Initiative.
"The Garden Project" considers the home kitchen gardener as an unknowing political activist who defies the dominant forces controlling the U.S. food supply by examining the shifting personal and social politics between the gardener and the incentives for gardening. The documentary will feature testimony from scholars within American history and psychology to investigate the phenomena.
Kohler International Awards, presented by the University of Toledo’s Center for International Studies Programs and the Commission on Global Initiatives, were awarded to several visual and performing arts faculty in order to defray costs associated with their international research projects. Dr. Brad Pierson, Director of Choral Activities, has traveled to Germany to research composers Hugo Distler and Arnold Mendelssohn. This fall the UT choirs will present music by both composers, including a pre-concert lecture. Dr. Pierson also plans to submit multiple articles for publication. 
Matt Yockey, associate professor of film, presented a paper titled "The Transformed Man: Affect, Authenticity, and the Celebrity of William Shatner" at The Celebrity Studies Journal Conference in Amsterdam, June 28-30. Yockey says, “My goals are to share my work with a cohort of top scholars in the field of media and celebrity studies and to increase the international profile of the department and the University. My presentation will also afford me the opportunity to further develop a chapter in my forthcoming book on ‘Star Trek.’”
Funds from the former College of Communication and the Arts (now SVPA) and the Department of Art will be used to create a 3D ceramics printer. It is being developed by senior lecturer, Karen Roderick-Lingeman, UT’s ceramics coordinator. The funds will cover the cost for her to attend a 3D ceramic printer workshop, materials for the construction of the ceramic printer plus the hiring of Theatre student, Jacob Gaietto. Jacob has been instrumental in prop building in the Theatre and Film Department and was also a student worker this past year in the CSS Building. Karen says, “He is very technology-savvy and helped me use the Art Department’s 3D printers and CNC router to actually make and print some of the parts needed for the ceramic printer.” The project will be completed over the summer.

This fall, associate professor of Art, Mysoon Rizk, is organizing and chairing one of the sessions (entitled “Pictographs, Glyphs, Emojis, and Brands”) at the MACAA conference in Cincinnati, Ohio in October. Art Department faculty Chris Burnett, Arturo Rodriguez, and Barry Whittaker, as well as Holly Hey from the Department of Theatre & Film will present papers at the conference. Also, this October, Mysoon will present a conference paper herself at the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition, a conference session proposed by her and Art Department Chair, Barbara Miner, was accepted for the upcoming Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) conference which will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, April 2017. (Story by PR Specialist, Angela Riddel)

These are just a few examples of our faculty and student activities. We are an active and highly engaged School and it is a honor to serve the School of Visual and Performing Arts as Director. I hope to see you at our upcoming SVPA sponsored offerings, whether you are looking for an exhibition, lecture series, theatrical production, film series or concert. Please join us.

Debra A. Davis signature

Last Updated: 10/28/16