Carnegie Mellon University

Seeding Change

This moment at the College of Fine Arts is about change, and energy, and the energy of change.

It’s about the influence and impact of our work moving outward from the center, testing itself in the world through what our faculty, staff, students and alumni create.

It’s about fearlessly questioning that which has gone unquestioned for a very long time.

It’s about leaning on community and the momentum of community in overcoming inertia.

It’s about repeatedly and loudly asserting the critical importance of the arts as an insistent reminder of our shared humanity.

In this issue, you’ll find evidence of change within today’s CFA, as well as our impact externally thanks to alumni of all vintages who continue to surprise, delight, move — and change us.

Mary Ellen Poole | Dean Mary Ellen Poole

 Dandelion seed pods.

School of Architecture

Home Away From Home


School of Art

Seeds of the Arctic

School of Design

PIA: A Connected Airport

School of Drama

Flower Power

School of Music

Artistic Alchemy

BXA Intercollege Degree Programs

Slaying Off-Broadway

Miller Institute for Contemporary Art

Impossible Music

Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry

Funding "LIVE! ART&&CODE"

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Angelica Perez-Johnston Joins CFA

Master of Arts Management

Raising LGBTQ+ Voices

Master of Entertainment Industry Management

The Next Chapter


Architecture students working.

[ Architecture Event ]

Fall 2023 Public Programs: Revolutions

August 17 – November 10

Architects who "make the revolution irresistable." Artists and thinkers who challenge us to envision a multitude of approaches to making and being. Join us for lectures, discussions and film screenings.

Find more information about Public Programs

Mindy Seu

[ Art + STUDIO Event ]

Mindy Seu Presents the Cyberfeminist Index

September 25

Free & open to the public. Designer, technologist and author Mindy Seu presents "The Cyberfeminism Index," a comprehensive book recently published by Inventory Press, followed by a panel featuring Pittsburgh-based artists included in the book: Hyla Willis of subRosa & Angela Washko.

Learn more about The Cyberfeminism Index

Design Lecture Series graphic.

[ Design Event ]

Design Lecture Series

October 2 – November 13

Unique voices in the world of design. The power of design addresses some of today's most pressing challenges. Speakers come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines including design, business, the nonprofit sector, education, science and more.

Learn more about Design Lecture Series

Drama production promotional image

[ Drama Event ]

2023–2024 Drama Season

A classic reimagined, romance during the apocalypse, pop punk meets Grecian revenge. Explore concepts of perfection, meditations on parenthood and questions of youth without guidance on stage this fall at the School of Drama!

Find tickets and more information

Cymbals and an orchestra in the background.

[ Music Event ]

Concerts and Events

Explore and expand your musical palate. With over 100 performances an academic year, you can experience your old favorites — or find new genres to love.

Find a complete schedule of events

Close up of framed music.

[ Miller ICA Event ]

Impossible Music Reception

September 29

Bridging the gaps between music, art and history. Performance by Aki Onda, "Spirits Known and Unknown," featuring Eyvind Kang, 5:30 p.m. "Impossible Music" reception, 6:30 p.m.

More information for Impossible Music Reception

Close up of 3 womens' faces.

[ STUDIO Event ]

CAS Dinner and a Movie

September 14

Join us for a special screening. Along with the Center for the Arts in Society, STUDIO is screening Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi’s “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” along with a delicious meal from local caterers and a post-screening discussion with the director.

Find more about Dinner and a Movie

Why I give back: Christiane Noll alumni story.

Spotlight Features

Joanna Bosse

[ Music Spotlight ]

Future Focused

Welcoming Joanna Bosse as Interim Head, School of Music

Betty Rexrode

[ Architecture Spotlight ]

Finding What Matters

Betty Rexrode Follows the Passions of Her Environment

Close up of artwork on display.

[ Art Spotlight ]

Forging a Heist Narrative

Lyndon Barrois Jr.'s "Rosette" Fuses Cinema, Art and History

Architectural detail for Margaret Morrison.

[ Design Spotlight ]

Fusing Disciplines and Creating Connections

Mark Baskinger Named Director of the Joseph Ballay Center for Design Fusion

Sweeney Todd cast on stage.

[ Drama Spotlight ]

Paths to Broadway Converge

'Sweeney Todd' Brings CFA Alumni Together

Lisa Vroman on stage with Keith Lockhart.

[ Music Spotlight ]

Ingénue ... Ingé-not-so-new!

Lisa Vroman Shares Her Musical Journey

Screenshot of Ajunie's video work.

[ BXA Spotlight ]

The Skowhegan Experience

Ajunie Virk Earns Prestigious Residency

Two figures who look like they are part of the galaxy, with galaxy in background.

[ Miller ICA Spotlight ]

Transcendental Arrangements

Miller ICA Exhibition July 29 – September 3

Person speaking into microphone.

[ STUDIO Spotlight ]

New Publication!

2022–2023 Sylvia & David Steiner Speaker Series

Divya Joseph

[ MEIM Spotlight ]

Good Sport

Divya Joseph Building a Career at Apple TV

magazine cover from 2023 spring.

Looking for a past version?

You can find past digital and print versions of the magazine, starting with our inaugural 2018 CFA 01 magazine in our CFA MAGAZINE ARCHIVE

Tell us what you think!

Let us know what you hoped to see — and what you liked! Email us at

College of Fine Arts Magazine

Publisher: Mary Ellen Poole, Dean, CFA
Executive Editor: Pam Wigley
Editor: Cally Jamis Vennare
Editor & Digital Content Designer: Alexis Morrell
Design Director: Mark Werle
Designer: Rob Azarcon
Production Artist: Deborah Allen
Project Manager: Thomas Swiech
Animation: Adam Chizmar


Harrison Apple
Margaret Cox
Dan Green
Gabriella Lossia
Joe Lyons
Alexis Morrell
Shannon Musgrave
Lauren Stash
Emily Syes
Cally Jamis Vennare
Pamela Wigley

Design & Production

University Communications and Marketing


Jenny Anderson
Beth Barbis
Crystal Hu
Kent Miles
Joan Marcus
Matthew Murphy
Seyl Park
Russ Rowland
Sean Salamon
Alexa Viscius
Paul Vladuhick
Pamela Wigley
Evan Zimmerman

CFA Leadership

CFA Dean: Mary Ellen Poole
School of Architecture Head: Omar Khan
School of Art Head: Charlie White
School of Design Head Interim: Eric Anderson
School of Drama Head: Robert Ramirez
School of Music Interim Head: Joanna Bosse
BXA Senior Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Initiatives: M. Stephanie Murray
Miller ICA Director: Elizabeth Chodos
Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Director: Nica Ross
MAM Program Director: Jessica Bowser Acrie
MEIM Program Director: Daniel Green