President Rob Denson and Dr. Simon Estes holding up sign that reads The Simon Estes School of Fine Arts at DMACC

DMACC Announces Creation of the Simon Estes School of Fine Arts

Posted 4/19/2019

DMACC’s goal is to become a destination college for Fine Arts education.
DMACC President and CEO Rob Denson announced today the new “Simon Estes School of Fine Arts” at DMACC. Initial plans call for the Music and Theater Programs to be expanded and housed under the new Fine Arts School. But, eventually other programs will be added.

“Simon’s vision is taking our Fine Arts program to a whole new level. It’s a quantum leap for our program,” said Denson. “We’re moving forward with his recommendations and decided it’s only fitting that the new Fine Arts School should be named after him. Our goal is to become a destination institution for students, from throughout the Midwest, who are interested in pursuing a degree or career in Fine Arts. With his help and guidance, we’re sure to make that happen.”

Simon Estes has been lecturing and giving voice lessons at DMACC for three years as a Visiting Professor of Music and is thrilled that DMACC has decided to put more emphasis on the Fine Arts.

“People are given talents and gifts by God, but many times they don’t find out what those talents are during their lifetime,” said Estes. “One of our goals is to help students uncover their abilities and inspire them through art and music.”

DMACC Board Chair Joe Pugel said that it has been an honor for the College to have Dr. Estes teach here. “His knowledge, experience and tremendous talent have created a wonderful opportunity for our students. His vision for the Fine Arts is moving the College forward in ways we never could have imagined,” said Pugel.

Estes and Denson both credited two, new DMACC faculty members, James Thompson, Professor of Music and Carl Lindberg, Professor of Drama, with taking both programs to new, higher levels of achievement.

Estes noted that the DMACC Choir only had a handful of students a year ago. Today, more than 50 students are participating.

For the first time, DMACC theater students worked jointly with students from another institution, Grand View University, to produce a new play.

Denson said the initial work to create the new Simon Estes School of Fine Arts will be on the academic side:

  • Adding the classes needed to provide a comprehensive two-year curriculum  in Music and Theater
  • Purchasing new equipment and investing in more resources
  • Creating new articulation agreements with four-year institutions, allowing students to  seamlessly transfer from DMACC after two years

Denson said the College has even greater aspirations. “Someday I would like to see us build a new DMACC Fine Arts Center to house these wonderful programs and showcase College and community performances,” said Denson.

Estes noted that a Fine Arts education has great value even if the student doesn’t pursue a career in the field. “Fine Arts is a way to explore and grow your creative abilities. It will bring value and focus to all their academic studies,” said Estes.

The new Simon Estes School of Fine Arts will be launched this August at the start of the Fall 2019 semester.

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