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Fine Arts at Carthage

Study the Arts

The arts are thriving at Carthage: In our classrooms, where students are guided toward excellence in studio art, music, theatre, dance, and graphic design.
On our stages
, where internationally renowned playwrights and musicians collaborate with students for performances and world premieres. In our galleries, where established and emerging artists show their work throughout the year. Students, families, and the community are invited to explore our rich academic and artistic offerings.


Study Theatre

“No Name” was the New Play Initiative production for the 2013-14 season.

Carthage offers majors in theatre, theatre performance, technical production and design, and minors in theatre and dance. Carthage theatre students can take courses in theatre history, directing, playwriting, dance, scene design, costume design, light design, and scenic painting, among others. Nationally recognized for excellence in theatre, the Carthage Theatre Department stages six to eight productions every year.

Study Art

The H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art

Carthage offers majors in studio art, art history, and art education, and minors in studio art and art history. The H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art at Carthage displays work by established and emerging artists. The gallery also hosts exhibitions receptions that offer students the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.  

Study Music

A brass section of the Carthage orchestra.

At Carthage, you can choose from a variety of music majors including an emphasis in music performance, piano pedagogy, music education K-12, both vocal and instrumental. Carthage students are actively involved in music-making and learning through participation in ensembles and workshops.

Study Communication and Digital Media

CDM photography display

Carthage offers majors in communication, graphic design, and public relations and minors in communication and public relations. Hedberg Library includes modern production, editing, sound, and broadcasting facilities appropriate for traditional and emerging media.


Study Music Theatre

Music Theatre “Little Mermaid” 2017

The music theatre program at Carthage an emphasis in music theatre as well as a Master of Music in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy. The music theatre curriculum at Carthage features comprehensive vocal training and musicianship, intense acting experiences, and a variety of dance technique and choreography classes.

Study Dance

The TARC Dance Studio is available for dance technique classes as well as rehearsal for music the...

Carthage offers a minor in dance through the theatre department. Dancers take courses in ballet, jazz, modern dance, tap, ballroom, and Pilates, as well as composition, history of dance, improvisation, and repertory.

Scholarships for Fine Arts Students

Carthage awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $13,000 per year to admitted students who excel in visual and performing arts. Scholarships are awarded through a competitive audition and/or portfolio review. Recipients are required to participate in department activities through service and creative work. If you have an interest in the fine arts, take advantage of these scholarship opportunities by scheduling and completing an audition and/or a portfolio review by late February. (The exact date varies by program.)

Questions? Contact the Fine Arts Office at or 262-551-5859. Learn more and apply online for the following Fine Arts Scholarships: art education, art history, communication, dance, graphic design, music, music theatre, public relations, studio art, and theatre. Learn about financial aid available for the Master of Music program

If you are a freshman entering in fall 2019, online applications for these scholarships are available on each department’s web page. Join our mailing list to receive more information about Carthage’s competitive scholarships.

Fine Arts Visit Days

Carthage offers special visit days for students interested in studying fine arts. Fine Arts Visit Days go beyond a campus tour. These special visits are tailored to students’ specific interests. Learn about all visit opportunities.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …