Explore the Arts
Arts at Williams provides abundant opportunities for personal growth, learning and expression—from music, performance, and literature to the visual arts and dance—bolstered by a unique synergy between the college and the broader artistic community.
The arts at Williams are enriched by nationally-recognized departments in English, comparative literature, dance, theatre, music, studio art and art history. Engaging faculty members, active staff members, and dedicated alumni broaden the community and enhance the college experience for arts majors and non-majors alike.
’62 Center for Theatre & Dance
Along with housing the Williams’ theatre and dance departments, the ’62 Center hosts the CenterSeries, performances by visiting artists who run workshops for students. The complex is comprised of three theaters, dance and directing studios and classrooms. The Summer Theatre Lab and the award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival are also in residence over the summer.
Williams College Museum of Art
The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) claims the title of the “largest classroom at Williams.” Established in 1926 as a way for students to experience art up close instead of through textbooks, WCMA has some 15,000 of works. The museum hosts seasonal exhibitions, offers student programming and even holds performances.
Student-organized arts groups offer abundant opportunities for personal expression and community engagement. Among the most well-known are Cap & Bells (the oldest continuously running student-run college theater group in the country); the Zambezi Marimba Band; Sankofa, CoDa and Nothing But Cuties (NBC) dance groups; Ephlats, Springstreeters and Accidentals a cappella groups; and Gospel Choir. Students can also serve as a WCMA Agent for Creative Action, join photography and ceramics clubs as well as the musician’s alliance.
Along with the offerings at the College are those of the Tony Award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival and nearby museums. The Clark boasts an expansive American and European collection and serves as a research institution, and MASS MoCA makes and houses contemporary visual and performing arts that “defy classification” while hosting events like FreshGrass and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. The Berkshires’ thriving creative economy stretches into neighboring towns, with Tanglewood, Barrington Stage Company and Jacob’s Pillow a short drive away.