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In a fast changing world

The uniqueness of cultures is under threat, and so are the ARTS.

As a global trend homogenizes cultures and reduces culture and its expressions (for instance, in architecture, artwork, performances and literature) to a price tag, the School of Humanities' Fine Arts Program affirms the Ateneo de Manila's distinguished tradition in the arts.

This tradition

• is founded on a humanistic outlook that is specifically Christian and Ignatian.

• believes in the unique value of the human and stresses an integral vision of the human.

• is characterized by magis (i.e. striving and going beyond the norm or what is expected)and excellence for service of others.

• stresses the social responsibility of the arts as a transforming force in society.

Furthermore, this tradition values the particular manifestations of the human, expressed in cultures both local and global.  In particular it values the cultural expressions of the Filipino.

Specifically, the Fine Arts Program four tracks or areas of study envision the following:

• Theater Arts seeks a creative dialogue of Eastern and Western forms and styles and seeks alternative ways to make theater relevant to the educational process and the betterment of society.

• Creative Writing asserts the Filipino voice in Filipino and English in various literary genres�fiction and non-fiction.

• Art Management takes the arts away from realm of the esoteric and the property of the privileged by making it a proactive catalyst in the betterment of the quality of life.

• Information Design, through multimedia technology, seeks images and representations that fuse local and global styles and by so doing, emphasizes Filipino aesthetics in design.

The Fine Arts Program is integrated into the total Ateneo education.The Ateneo's Art Programs upholds artistic excellence and training in solid skills and techniques of the arts sharpened by rigorous practice.  And it places the arts in the wider context of human life.  Thus, it fosters

• a critical appreciation of aesthetic theory and history,

• a heightened sense of imagination,

• a flexible mind that can bridge gaps between disciplines,

• a creative mind that thrives in the ambiguity of a changing world,

• and the formation of strong personal convictions of what it means to a Filipino artist in the globalizing world of the new millennium.

Furthermore, the Fine Arts Program does not limit itself to its students but engages the Ateneo de Manila University community and reaches out to the wider local and national communities.  It brings the transforming power of art to Philippine society.

You have a choice.  To make art a private, esoteric reserve.  To use art to sell soap or flatter a powerful figure.

Or to understand and appreciate the arts in its fullness as a necessary human task. To make yourself a disciplined artist with a strong grasp of the principles, practices and skills of art.  To make yourself a craftsman of culture and creator of a more vibrant and humane society, especially for the marginalized.

If you choose to be the latter 'to be An Artist for Others' the Ateneo's Fine Arts Program is for you!

The Big Picture

Is the Ateneo de Manila's Bachelor of Fine Arts Program for me? 

Five aspects of the four tracks leading to the BFA degree are worth noting:

First, the programs link the study of Fine Arts with the humanistic and service tradition of Ateneo education, thus as a Fine Arts student you will acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of the twin forces of globalization and localization that confront contemporary Philippine society and its artistic life.

Second, the programs build on a set of core course that define the intellectual and teaching thrust of all degree programs in Fine Arts. These core courses are multidisciplinary in nature and relate the Fine Arts in aesthetic history.  They require a pair of thesis or practicum courses to test (and encourage) your capacity for independent work.

Third, the programs offer specific courses that link the practice of the arts with specific theories and reflection on the arts and its relationship to other disciplines.

Fourth, the programs unify the Ateneo's various artistic efforts into a single pursuit, namely training and learning.  For instance, the renowned Ateneo Art Gallery is not simply a viewing hall but an art lab for all levels of art studies, from studio work to art theory/history to art management.  The informal apprenticeships between writing teacher and student can now be made more systematic to touch a wider group of aspiring men and women of letters.


Finally, the program enables the Ateneo to exercise leadership in the arts, and in so doing, make unique contributions in shaping the Filipinos' minds and hearts. Ateneo's preeminence in industry and government has been felt in the material life of Filipinos; the University's impact in the country's non-material life must be strengthened as well.  Besides, the intimate connection between the Fine Arts and Communication will help broaden this impact to the larger populace.  You will be part of this challenging process of building a national culture.

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