Discover the ways HFA supports our local community.
The College of Humanities & Fine Arts (HFA) is deeply committed to community engagement—through public events and lectures, hands-on learning experiences and research, engaged scholarship, community-based arts projects, and our robust centers and institutes.
In addition to the direct and indirect contributions of our illustrious faculty, diverse student body, and talented network of alumni to the local economy, our many centers, institutes, and programs offer members of the community access to resources and experts and the opportunity to participate in life-long learning.
Arts and Performances
Members of our local community can explore art through the ages, from traditional to contemporary, student exhibits to storied artists, within the Augusta Savage Gallery where art explores issues of race, class, and power; the Hampden Gallery for new and emerging artists; or the Herter Art Gallery where science meets art.
Through the dance program, students learn the disciplines of modern dance, ballet, jazz, and other world dance forms while developing their strength, coordination, memory, timing and endurance. Performances happen each semester, offering the community an opportunity to appreciate the art of movement and self-expression.
From acting to set design, production to performance, the Department of Theater trains students in the discipline, teamwork, and creative expression necessary for a fulfilling career in this dynamic art. Each semester, the department puts on magnificent theater performances that enliven the Pioneer Valley.
Whether jazz, classical, production, or performance, the Department of Music's programs span the breadth of modern and traditional music, granting students an educational experience that empowers a future career in the industry. With over 100 annual on-campus jazz, classical, early and contemporary music concerts by faculty, guest artists, and large and small advanced student ensembles open to the public each year, the Department of Music enriches the lives of our students and our community.
In addition to its arts and performing events, HFA hosts a long, varied list of distinguished and scholarly lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, author and artist talks, and more.
Through our face-to-face and virtual events, our goal is to provide access and opportunities for all by creating and hosting events that reaffirm our long-standing commitment to social progress, deep value for different perspectives, and drive for inclusive excellence.
Check out our calendar and join us for an event.
The Creative Economy Research Project was completed by HFA in 2009. Our objective was to measure the economic impact of our college and alumni on the local Pioneer Valley community.
The creative economy encompasses individuals, organizations, and enterprises whose assets are creatively based. Examples of professions that make up the creative economy include: architects, artists, authors, dancers, editors, graphic, interior, web and game designers, arts and humanities teachers, musicians, singers, translators, and many more.
HFA Centers and Institutes
These centers and institutes are hubs for collaboration and innovation, where you can engage in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and graduate training that spans, combines, and builds on the humanities, social sciences, arts, languages, history, pop culture, literature, and more.
Arts Extension Service
The Arts Extension Service (AES), a national arts service organization, is one such center working to serve the arts through education, research, and publications. Virtually every state arts agency in the nation has hired AES to deliver training in a range of topics to their constituents. Offering courses in Arts Management, AES helps bridge the gap between art and the community.
DEFA Film Library
The DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the only archive and study center outside Europe devoted to the study of a broad spectrum of filmmaking by East German filmmakers or related to East Germany from 1946 to the present. Visit website »
Center for the Study of African American Language (CSAAL)
A leader in both community engagement and cutting-edge linguistics research, the CSAAL works to foster and integrate scientific research on language in African American communities and application of that research in educational, social, and cultural realms. The Center has a commitment to serving as a resource for communities by furnishing information and providing training to students and educators who address language- and dialect-related issues. Visit website »
Digital Humanities Initiative
The Digital Humanities Initiative at the University of Massachusetts seeks to support and initiate research projects within the digital humanities broadly conceived. The Digital Humanities Initiative is composed of core HFA faculty whose research directly engages digital materials. Visit website »
Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies
The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a locus for research and teaching on the Holocaust, as well as on the memory and representation of this and other genocides. Its three primary organizing and research rubrics are: History, Memory, and Education. Visit website »
Interdisciplinary Studies Institute
The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute is a forum for faculty at the University of Massachusetts to engage with one another in a spirit of intellectual and creative adventure in a range of settings and environments. At the core of our activities is the IS Seminar, organized around a specific theme; each semester we choose a new topic (for a listing of past and present themes, see our Seminars page). The ethos of the seminar is free and democratic, cutting across lines of discipline and rank. Visit website »
For sixteen years, Juniper Institute for Young Writers has provided an immersion in the writer’s life, a pre-college experience on the UMass campus, and an unforgettable week. Participants engage with their writing community from the morning Craft Sessions, to the afternoon Writing Labs and into the early-evening readings and Writer's Life talks.
In association with the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute is a week long immersion in the writer's life.
The Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies
The Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies promotes the research, teaching, and dissemination of all aspects of literature and culture in the Early Modern Period (ca. 1400-ca. 1700.) To assist in this endeavor, the Center builds and maintains a unique collection of manuscripts, rare books, scholarly archives, and monographs. The Center also edits and publishes the English Literary Renaissance and The Sidney Journal as well as the book series Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture. Visit website »
The Translation Center is a unique enterprise that combines business services with academics. By keeping up with the latest in training and research, the Translation Center is able to offer higher quality translations to our clients. Visit website »
The Writing Program
An independent academic unit serving the entire campus community, a key part of undergraduate General Education. Their mission is to help students at UMass Amherst acquire the writing skills they need in their courses, their careers, and their lives in general. Visit website »