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Message from the Dean

Bruce Kelley head shotInnovation and artistic excellence drive the University of South Dakota College of Fine Arts. Established in 1931, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, the USD College of Fine Arts has long represented the hope, inspiration and power of the arts to change the world. As the college prepares to mark its 90th anniversary the future remains bright for students in the fine arts.

We are the only College of Fine Arts in the state and serve as a cultural center for South Dakota and the region. We develop graduates who are empowered to impact culture and the quality of life of those they serve. The arts and culture sector annually contributes $1.2 billion to the state’s economy, representing 2.5% of South Dakota’s GDP and more than 14,000 jobs. Nationally, these figures grow to 4.5% and 5.1 million jobs. The arts allow us to express the meaning of our experiences and understand and interpret our world. As a result, they are important drivers of economic growth.

Our students combine inspiration with discipline and collaboration with competition. These skills lead to success in our 21st century economy. We graduate extraordinary teachers who become regional leaders in fine arts education. Students in performance and technical majors are employed at the highest professional levels. New fields of employment, such as the development of content for streaming services, provide exciting job opportunities in each of our degree areas. The entrepreneurial nature of these careers—some of which were unimagined ten years ago—emphasizes the importance of the broad-based liberal arts foundation all USD students receive.

The USD College of Fine Arts is an amazing place to be. We invite you to join us on our mission to combine creativity and scholarship to make a difference in this world.

Bruce Kelley, Ph.D

Dean, College of Fine Arts

Dean's Office

Our office is in Room 109 of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts, which was constructed and specifically designed to serve the unique needs of the Departments of Art, Music and Theatre.