Visual and Performing Arts

Visual and performing arts are part of the liberal arts. Including areas like theater, music, studio art and graphic design, this field is for those who wish to make a career out of their creativity. Learn more about visual and performing arts below.

Inside the Visual and Performing Arts

Visual and performing arts programs explore the scholarly and practical study of a wide variety of artistic techniques and styles. Within the visual and performing arts is a range of educational opportunities and potential careers. provides a wealth of information to help you choose the educational options that are right for you and the corresponding vocation.

Education Information

According to The College Board, even those wishing to pursue a general degree in the visual and the performing arts are usually trained for a career in a specific art form, be it theater, studio art, dance or music ( Within that discipline, however, they may require training in a range of skills, such as sculpting and painting for studio arts programs. Programs also focus on both the history and theory of the discipline in addition to the actual practice of the profession. Here are a few educational paths to consider.


The College Board states that in pursuing a bachelor's degree in theater, students read and discuss historical plays. In addition, they engage in hands-on experiential learning through building sets, designing lighting or acting in plays.

Studio Art

In studio art degree programs, students often work in a variety of mediums. They create actual art objects while learning about art history and theory.

Graphic Design

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that graphic designers today usually need familiarity with the technology and techniques of graphic design. They also a bachelor's degree or better in graphic design or fine arts (


The BLS indicates that dancers generally rely upon training beginning at a much younger age. They may or may not pursue postsecondary degrees in dance.


Choreographers, although working in much the same field as dancers and relying upon similar knowledge, do in fact require extensive postsecondary education in order to teach others, according to the BLS.

Here are links to articles offering more details about education options in the visual and performing arts field.

Distance Learning Options

While most programs in the visual and fine arts require hands-on education at a college campus in order to hone one's skills, there are distance learning options available. There are even free classes in some areas, although these generally don't contribute towards a degree. The provided links will explain more.

Career Options

There's a range of vocational opportunities for those with training and aptitude in the visual and performing arts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one's career options within visual and performing arts are closely tied to one's educational achievement and aptitudes for a given art. These links can help explain more about employment options in the arts.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

While the BLS expected competition for graphic design jobs to be somewhat heavy from 2012-2022, with a slower-than-average (7 percent) increase in available positions, those with skills in Web and animation design were expected to be in the most demand. In May 2013, the BLS reported that the middle half of graphic designers earned $34,040-$60,510.

During the aforementioned decade, employment of dancers and choreographers was projected to increase 13 percent. As of May 2013, dancers had an average hourly wage of $20.00. In the same year, choreographers reportedly earned an average hourly wage of $24.00 or an average annual salary of $49,930.

Visual and Performing Arts Related Articles

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