April 14, 2020
A chorus of students dressed in black standing on risers in front of tall windows at night

The power of the Arts is a phenomenon known and appreciated by many. It can be seen in the bright eyes of a young child attending the theater for the first time and heard in the cheers of a packed stadium when the musician returns for an encore. Experiencing the Arts connects us to something greater than ourselves. It connects us to one another and to all human experience. At the end of her senior year, Iona Kruger ’21 reflected on this very phenomenon, which was only enhanced by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic: “During my time at Exeter I have achieved a deep connection to music and theater. With strict safety measures in place, this winter the PEA theater and dance department was able to perform an original musical in-person before a limited live (and virtual) audience. As a senior very involved in music arts, this was an important production and a meaningful way to celebrate new ways for a cast to come together.”

More than a quarter of Exeter’s student body participates in theatrical productions each term; more than 150 students take dance classes or participate in the 16 student-run dance clubs; Exonians can pick and choose from a dozen innovative art studio courses; and half of all students participate in the Academy’s flourishing music program. Gifts to The Exeter Fund enhance the experience of each and every one of Exeter’s Arts students and the exceptional facilities that support their passions. 

Exonians have seemingly endless opportunities in the visual and performing arts through which to discover and express themselves. The Exeter Fund provides the flexible funding that supports the professional faculty and staff, curriculum, materials, equipment, and performance spaces that create an exceptional Exeter student experience.

 The David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance

The Goel Center for Theater and Dance brings 63,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities to the performing arts at Exeter. Designed by award-winning architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the building is host to two theaters (350-seat mainstage and 149-seat thrust stage) and two dance studios. The dance performance studio serves as Exeter's first performance space designed specifically to meet dancers' needs, offering appropriate sight lines and a sprung floor.

The Center's teaching spaces are designed to the specifications of a modern theater and dance program, and Harkness classrooms allows for a seamless transition from discussion to performance. The Center also includes a scene shop, costume studio, cutting-edge equipment, and a designated space for Exeter's student-run theater organization, Dramat, which provides serious theater students with a dedicated location to experiment and rehearse.“I thought it was going to be a stretch financially to be able to attend a school like Exeter, so it was such a relief to know that I could pursue this and make my family proud without a burden.” Exeter’s financial commitment to Laura didn’t stop at simply getting her in the door. The Academy provided additional resources that helped pay for supplies and activities like books and private clarinet lessons. “Those equalizers opened up so many doors for me as an individual and allowed me to grow.” Laura says at no point in her time at the Academy did she feel stigmatized by her standing as a financial aid recipient.


The Frederick R. Mayer Art Center

Exeter's Art Center provides students with a studio-based curriculum that blends innovative technology with traditional techniques. Some Exeter art students design their projects in the Center’s Innovation Lab using Apple computers and 3-D printers, while studios offer advanced equipment, including two kilns in the clay studio and options for screen printing, etching, monotype, and letterpress in the printmaking studio. All courses are taught by practicing artists and allow students to explore a variety of art forms.


"During my time at Exeter I have achieved a deep connection to music and theater ... This experience gave me a feeling of optimism and demonstrated the potential of art to communicate challenging ideas in challenging times."
Iona Kruger ’21

Lamont Gallery

The Lamont Gallery celebrates the arts through thematic exhibitions featuring works by students and faculty as well as local, national, and international artists. The Lamont Gallery encourages classes from the Academy, groups from other schools and organizations, and visitors of all ages to experience and learn about the arts in a welcoming setting.

Forrestal-Bowld Music Center

The Forrestal-Bowld Music Center provides students and faculty with a stunning and congenial environment in which to make music. The facilities include grand piano studios; large rehearsal rooms; a keyboard lab; state-of-the-art musicianship studio; study areas; Harkness classrooms; a music, media, and recording library; and a spectacular new 250-seat performance space made possible by the non-sibi spirit of Exeter’s Class of 1959.

The performing arts tap into the core of who students are as individuals. Moreover, they engage their energies at such a fundamental level that it can really change the course of their lives. Gifts to The Exeter Fund designated to The Arts give young Exonians the means to create, uncover, and proclaim themselves through dance, theater, visual expression, and music.


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