Community Update from President Wayne Lesperance - New England College

Community Update from President Wayne Lesperance

Students at the main NEC sign in Henniker

New England College (NEC) will unite its art and design programs in a new Art Village on its main campus in Henniker, New Hampshire, beginning in fall 2023.

For the last several years, NEC’s Institute of Art and Design (successor to the New Hampshire Institute of Art, NHIA) has offered instruction in animation, ceramics, comic arts, game design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, and other fields, both in Henniker and at facilities in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Beginning in the fall, The Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College will provide degree opportunities in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in several dedicated spaces on the Henniker campus. IAD students will study and live side by side with students taking other programs, enjoying full access to all of the College’s resources in athletics, dining, wellness, and extracurricular programs. By uniting in a common location, faculty will extend their contributions to the College community and make art and design even more available to the student body. Both faculty and students will enjoy new opportunities for cross disciplinary collaboration. A full roster of academic offerings beyond the arts, including courses in psychology and business—areas where arts students have shown steady interest—will foster intellectual exploration. At the new theatre in NEC’s Putnam Center for the Performing Arts, students can tap their interest in dramatic arts and perhaps perform on a state-of-the-art stage. In addition to over 20 inter-scholastic teams, students enjoy numerous intra-mural sports and skiing is available at Pats Peak.

COVID-19 depressed participation in the arts and arts education nationally. Unfortunately, NEC was not immune to this downward trend. With this move to unify our academic offerings in Henniker, NEC re-doubles its commitment to its art and design students and faculty, and the arts generally, by dedicating facilities and creating new opportunities in a welcoming setting.

The College will maintain its presence in Manchester with events at its galleries and its premier assembly space at French Hall. It will look to collaborate with educational institutions and other neighbors in maintaining an active presence in the neighborhood.

NEC will support all of its students and families through this transition and ensure that all necessary resources are available for a successful academic experience. On Friday, April 14, NEC will have an FAQ available along with contact information for further questions.

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