Welcome to The Arts at BGSU! 

The Arts at Bowling Green State University continue to flourish and stretch the boundaries of knowledge and imagination. You can experience the strength of our traditions and the inspiration of our creative innovations.

Comprising the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, the Department of Theatre & Film and the Creative Writing Program, The Arts at BGSU function as an interdisciplinary unit, promoting a culture of creativity both on our campus and in our community.

Join us! We look forward to sharing our performances, galleries, lectures, and research with you.

Featured Premier Arts Events

Desiree Cooper

Creative Writing Guest Author

Desiree Cooper

Reading and book signing

September 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre, Wolfe Center for the Arts

A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and community activist. She is an evocative speaker on the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy and the welfare of women and girls. As a full-time caregiver for her aging parents, she writes widely about women, self-care, and reinvention.

Cooper’s fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her award-winning collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, was published by Wayne State University Press in March 2016. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in Callaloo, Hypertext Review, The Best Small Fictions 2018, This is the Place, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Best African American Fiction 2010, among other online and print publications. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.

Her books, Nothing Special and Know the Mother, will be available for purchase.

This event is free and open to the public.


Gaelynn Lea
photo credit: Paul Vienneau

Edwin H. Simmons Creative Minds Series

Gaelynn Lea

Claiming Your Inner Freedom, Lecture and performance

October 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theater, Wolfe Center for the Arts

Gaelynn Lea is a violinist, songwriter and disability rights advocate. She won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and not long after she took to the road. Since then, she has toured in 45 states and 9 countries, captivating audiences around the world with her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes.

In addition to performing and recording, Lea frequently does speaking engagements about Disability Rights, finding inner freedom, and accessibility in the arts. She uses her music as a platform to advocate for disabled people and to promote positive social change.

She composed the music for the most recent Broadway production of Macbeth, starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga. This iconic Shakespeare play was directed by Sam Gold and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Sound Design.

Lea joined the Recording Academy with the class of 2021. She is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of a change-making group called RAMPD – Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities. RAMPD’s mission is to amplify disability culture, promote inclusion, and advocate for accessibility in the music industry.

When the pandemic interrupted her touring schedule, Lea began performing live-streamed concerts called Sunday Sessions on YouTube; this series continues to air on a monthly basis. Her interactive concert series features improvisational live-looped violin, original songs, and a different special guest every episode. Captions are provided for Deaf and hard-of-hearing music lovers.

This event is free and open to the public.

Per the request of our guest speaker, face coverings are recommended.


In The Round: a six-part speaker series featuring Native American Creatives seeks to render visible—to the BGSU and local communities—the artistry, activism, and presence of contemporary Native American artists. This series is an extension of the recently-developed BGSU Land Acknowledgment, which provides a foundation upon which the university can build purposeful and sustained practices that seek to decolonize our institution. 

In The Round features Native American creatives who work in the areas of the arts here at BGSU: Fine Art, Graphic Design, Music, Creative Writing, Film, and Theatre. The series offers opportunities to enrich the learning, experiences, and perspectives of all members of our campus and local communities. By engaging contemporary Indigenous and Native American Artists, this series challenges erroneous and harmful stereotypes that continue to permeate American society today. Exposure to the artists’ works and techniques through which they share their experiences, worldviews, and reactions to the cultural and historical moment in which we all find ourselves facilitates growth and dynamic learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. 

In The Round was made possible by Glanz Family Research Award for Interdisciplinary Faculty Innovation and Collaboration, Jane Labino Black Fund, BGSU President’s Office, Division of Research and Economic Engagement, University Libraries, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Music, School of Art, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Institute for the Study of Culture and Society, Department of English, Department of Theater & Film, Division of Graphic Design, Arts Village, ECAP, Wood County Public Library, and the Mazza Museum. 

For a full schedule, click here

Arts Calendar of Events

Updated: 09/23/2022 12:49PM