About the School of Fine Arts

Kenneth BoultonAs we enter the 2020-21 academic year, I want to thank you so much for your support of our outstanding program. As Northern confronts this time of unparalleled challenge, it is important to remember that the arts continue to provide comfort, resilience, and the means for self-expression and connection. This past spring, our faculty and students embraced these ideals in discovering new opportunities for remote teaching and learning, sustaining our fine arts community from a distance, and maintaining a positive and constructive outlook for our future.

We look forward to welcoming our students and faculty back to campus this year, and are anticipating another fantastic season for the arts. Highlights include NSU Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; a stunning exhibit by Yankton Sioux Oyate artist Jerry Fogg; and NSU Opera’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance - a collaborative venture with the Aberdeen University-Civic Symphony and NSU Theatre.

I am proud of Northern State’s commitment in providing a superior education in the visual and performing arts, where students develop their talents, refine their passions, and ultimately become leaders in their chosen fields. We also succeed in creating an academic environment that encourages students to explore a multitude of artistic opportunities, wherever their talents lead them. Truly, our students do it all!

With this brochure, I hope you enjoy the chance to look back on the past year, preview the exciting 2020-21 season, and consider contributing to the School of Fine Arts’ growing base of support. As always, I look forward to sharing and celebrating our bright future with you.


Warm regards,

Dr. Kenneth O. Boulton

Dean, School of Fine Arts

NSU Chamber Singers rehearse outside
School of Fine Arts Mission Statement

The School of Fine Arts at Northern State University is a vibrant and growing regional center for the arts, in which students and faculty are focused on creating, performing, teaching, interpreting, and thinking critically about the arts.

The faculty, practicing professional artists in their respective fields, are fully invested in the mission of the university, and committed to the planning and promotion of collaborative cultural and academic opportunities for our students and public.  Central to this commitment is maintaining and expanding dynamic relationships with arts educators throughout the region, and providing effective support for public and private school teachers, individual instructors, and alumni in the field.

The faculty believe in personalized mentorship to students, as well as maintaining an awareness of each student’s distinct background and how best to align each individual with professional standards and expectations.  The faculty recognize the value of working together for the betterment of our students, cultivating a supportive arts community that embraces diversity of background and thought. 

The School of Fine Arts actively creates major opportunities for students of all levels to display and develop their talents, thus continuing our culture of accomplishment and success.


School of Fine Arts Strategic Plan

Former Faculty

At Northern, talented faculty will inspire you to grow as an artist and excel in your chosen passion. Our school has a long and illustrious history of influence in the arts of the region.