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Arvada Center, Regis University form partnership

The two esteemed institutions will share resources


Regis University students interested in taking more classes in the arts will be able to starting in January through a partnership with the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities.

With this new collaboration, the Arvada Center will offer art classes to Regis students, beginning with the spring semester that begins in January. In return, the university will provide academic scholars and programming for the regional art center’s humanities program.

The agreement allows Regis students to take several art classes for college credit at the art center, which is located only five miles from Regis’ Northwest Denver Campus. The initial course offerings will include dance (tap and ballet) and ceramics, and will complement Regis’ existing offerings in the visual and performing arts.

“These are all wonderful opportunities for us,” said Regis Provost Janet Houser. “I see huge potential in this partnership.”

The partnership is one step in Regis’ plan to switch from a STEM focus to a STEAM focus by including the arts with science, technology, engineering and math.

“Regis is a thriving university and I believe that when one experiences contact with the arts they go from surviving to flourishing,” Houser said. “For our students, it’s a way to really engage and interact with the arts in a broader way, in a high caliber facility.”

The beauty of the partnership, Houser said, is that students not enrolled at Regis can also take these classes and then apply for academic credit through the university, which can then transfer to any degree program.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with an institution of the caliber of Regis University,” said Philip C. Sneed, Arvada Center executive director. “It’s a natural partnership, given our desire to work more closely with institutions of higher education, and our proximity to one another. This first step gives us a great foundation for future collaboration — we already have identified many other potential opportunities to explore.”

One opportunity Sneed is taking hold of is access to Regis’ scholars for the center’s humanities programs. In the spring, Sneed hopes to bring the university’s Center for the Study of War Experience projects to the Arvada Center for a series that would be open to students for credit and to the general public free of charge.

There are also talks of Regis faculty serving on a team for a literature festival at the center, a piano competition, and using the Arvada Center black box for original plays.

Sneed expects the partnership will help the Arvada Center reach its toughest demographic: teenagers and young adults.

“Our educational expertise tends to be with K through 6 and with adult learning,” he said. “We’re trying to step up our game with middle school, high school and college. This pushes us.”

Both sides call this partnership a “win, win.”


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