About the Centre

STAC: Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture

About the Centre

The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is concerned with the cultural production, reception and interpretation of the fine and performing arts. From the classics to popular culture, from ancient drawings and rituals to the avant-garde, from the modern to the postmodern, the program examines the products of, and our readings of, individual or collaborative artistic endeavours from the perspective of both the cultural producer and the audience.

The STAC program invites students to engage with contemporary approaches to the arts. Our students explore the creative disciplines in a holistic manner, simultaneously examining theory and practice in the fine arts.  Through the critical analysis of works of art, dance, film, video, music, theatre or digital media, students will gain an awareness of the ways artistic media have functioned in the past and the new ways in which the arts continue to grow.  Our students focus upon specific creative disciplines that interest them and the critical thinking, theorizing, and writing that inform both historical and contemporary approaches to these disciplines.

Our objective is to secure the vitality of the arts by developing informed audiences, consumers and critics who are engaged by interdisciplinary practice as well as the theories by which we interpret creative work.  Students in the STAC program aspire to be writers, reviewers, educators, curators or administrators for cultural institutions like museums, arts centres or cultural associations. They may work in the public sector on arts policy or programming for cultural agencies or for municipal, provincial or federal level governments. They may run or contribute to theatre companies, arts festivals, exhibition or presentation centres. They may be involved in arts businesses like galleries, magazines, or consultancies. STAC majors will take their place as the next generation of leaders in Canada's cultural industry.

Students in STAC can choose courses from a wide array of options in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, as well as from the Department of Communications, Film, Popular Culture, the Centre for Digital Humanities/Interactive Arts and Science, and the Centre for Canadian Studies. Students in our program are encouraged to customize their studies in alignment with their own creative interests. Many STAC courses combine theory and practice. Whether courses focus on historical, critical and theoretical study or hands-on practice-based approaches, STAC students will learn in an environment that links thinking and doing.

STAC courses are taught by artists, directors, musicians, writers, critics, arts administrators, academics and other creative professionals active in their fields. The courses are distinguished by lively, informed exchange, critical thinking and encourage new perspectives on the arts and culture. In recognition that the arts cannot be studied in isolation, students are stimulated by participation in events, exhibitions and performances as well as field trips to major centres such as Toronto, Buffalo or New York.

See Course Offerings for more information about the STAC program
and then visit the University Calendar for specific details.

Admissions Process: please see Future Students for important information.

Watch A Visit to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts to learn about the DART, MUSI, VISA, and STAC programs at the School. (click video above)

STAC students may enjoy the richness of creativity, research, and learning of each of the Departments and Centre. The video was made by Visual Arts graduate Tracy van Oosten and produced by the MIWSFPA. All rights reserved, March, 2010.


"We offer a unique post-secondary educational experience that draws its courses from some of the best and most stimulating of our teaching faculty."
- Derek Knight, Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts


STAC was happy to meet incoming students at the Ontario Universities Fair in Toronto for 2013.  Come see us at the University!  FALL PREVIEW DAY will be held Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Contact us anytime if you have any questions.



STAC is an Associate Member of the

link to AAAE

Advancing formal training and high educational standards for arts and cultural management.