Social Justice and the Performing Arts

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate certificate: social justice and the performing arts



Students who earn the Certificate in Social Justice and the Performing Arts learn methods and practices to expand the parameters of their academic and arts disciplines to include diverse ways of thinking, creative problem solving, and practical applications for social justice-focused arts projects and scholarship in the United States and transnationally. The certificate is designed to foster interdisciplinarity between students from across the university, whether they are in the arts or not.

Students access and hone human-centered skills in empathy, compassion, and social responsibility, and gain a sense of belonging, equity, and inclusion as they approach their work and partner with others. They examine who the work will impact, determining who benefits, and how they can make ethical choices as they develop or collaborate on community-based creative projects. With a combination of performing arts and social justice courses and projects, certificate students will be better prepared to take on a wider range of career opportunities in and beyond performing arts organizations after graduation.

The certificate helps students to align their discipline studies more closely with their interests and their desire to be of service to their communities, to work in community with one another, and to collaborate with the wider community of Iowa City and beyond as they become fully engaged global citizens.

The departments of Dance, Theatre Arts, and Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, and the School of Music collaborate to offer the certificate. The Department of Theatre Arts administers the certificate.