As the entertainment district holds a strong presence in Las Vegas, UNLV’s College of Fine Arts houses its creative-minded students within its outdated building known as Grant Hall. Over the years, students have expressed their concerns with the facility due to it being one of the university’s oldest remaining buildings. With the amount of funding placed within other departments on campus such as the newest Advanced Engineering Building, fine arts students have questioned why their sector of Grant Hall and the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building has been overlooked.
Ranging from the weak air conditioning systems in the classrooms, water leaks and limited access to the bathrooms, students feel that they are not receiving the appropriate resources with the amount of tuition they pay. One of the Fine Arts students discussed their views on the fine arts department but would like to their name to not be mentioned.
“The professors were great, and the varied classes made for an overall well-founded education. However, it’s obvious that the college does not receive as much funding as they need. I was not satisfied with the quality of the aging buildings,” the Fine Arts student stated.
It has also caused more students to wonder if it is the lack of funding that prevents them from continuing their studies in programs, such as graphic design, due to the limited room for students and professors.
The Graphic Design Program requires students to complete a portfolio review in the spring semester to enroll in upper-division courses and graduate. If students do not pass the portfolio review, they have the opportunity to try once more next spring or ultimately find a new degree to pursue. Upon the second chance for students to complete the portfolio, they have no other choice but to find another degree if not admitted.
Students who have not been admitted begin to focus their studies on either a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, Fine Arts or Journalism to have a portion of their credits accounted for. The Fine Arts Advising Center only allows for students to declare a minor in art history despite the amount of graphic design credits students may have completed during their time in the Graphic Design Program. At this time, there has been no graphic design minor at the university.
Recent announcements following the 2023 Nevada Legislative Sessions have brought hope and recognition to the students, faculty and instructors within the Fine Arts Building. As the number of fine arts students has grown, state representatives have come to an agreement to fund and remodel one of the fine art buildings. The building is expected to be 100,000 square feet and will include a laboratory, teaching rooms and collaborative spaces for the arts to succeed in years to come at UNLV. Although the project is approved with about 50% of the funds going into the total $10.2 million planning costs, support is still needed to continue its construction. The total construction is estimated at $85.1 million.
“They need more donor experiences. I work closely with some colleges like Integrated Health Sciences and Boyd School of Law on various events where they host donors or drum up more philanthropy from their base of alumni. I don’t really hear from some others on campus, the College of Fine Arts included. They could take a page out of the other college’s books and attempt to host more donor-related events, which would, of course, be the best way to quickly grow their philanthropic base. Mixers, performances and art galleries would be great ways to start off,” says the Fine Arts student.
At this time, students, faculty, and professors are looking forward to the new plans in place and the possible opportunity to contribute more to the building if provided.