Dean of the Creative School Marcus Hayes hosted a meeting on May 8 to hear student input in preparation for the launch of the Creative School in Fall 2024. Hayes also announced working plans for creative initiatives at DePauw, such as opening a creative arts living-learning community, creating university-wide creative convocation awards, and renovating creative spaces. 

He emphasized the need to create opportunities for “students who describe themselves as creative,” which is not limited to students majoring in traditional arts fields. Hayes wants to move away from implementing “containers” that separate students in the Creative School from students in the College of Liberal Arts. He said that although students’ majors and programs may be affiliated with a school, students eventually are all DePauw students. A student said that the name “Creative School” invites disciplines like creative writing, which may not be considered arts in its traditional sense. 

The interdisciplinary aspect of the Creative School is important for developing leadership, collaboration, and innovation, according to Hayes. A Film and Media Arts student in attendance agreed, sharing that they will have more opportunities to work with actors and students from other creative disciplines through the Creative School. They observed that Film and Media Arts students have mostly worked independently but the benefits that they may gain from the Creative School are still vague. 

Hayes also shared anecdotes from parents of prospective students who may intend to major in Studio Arts and Computer Science. He noted that DePauw is “sending a signal to the market” that those combinations are possible here. Hayes wants to offer opportunities for all interested students, without having to “beg anyone to show up” or make anything a requirement. 

Creative initiatives in the works include a creative arts living-learning community that will be open to first-year students entering in the fall of 2024. Hayes shared that there has been a lot of interest in this new residential space. There will also be renovation of creative spaces mostly in the Green Center for Performing Arts, but changes to the spaces in Peeler Art Center, Asbury Hall, and Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media are also being considered. According to a campus-wide email from the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dave Berque, $10 million has been allocated by donors toward the spaces and places of the Creative School. This is part of the $64 million total allocation for the Creative School that DePauw announced in February. In addition, a student advisory council for the Creative School will be convened. 

Hayes said that he has talked to student media outlets like The DePauw and WGRE, among other modes of communication, to circumvent unofficial channels like YikYak that may cause misunderstandings about the Creative School. As part of the three-school model in the DePauw Bold & Gold 2027 Strategic Plan, The Creative School aims to foster new disciplinary initiatives and develop new career paths in the creative and performing arts.