Originality, invention, innovation, the creative engagement of the sovereign mind of every individual with her own life and the life of the community and larger world around her — this is how human civilization corrects, advances, and flourishes. Artistic expression is at the heart of human experience, and its voice is vital in every sector of society from medicine and science to government and commerce.

At Sweet Briar College, an awareness of aesthetics and beauty, the skill and practice of making art, and creative habits of mind useful in any profession are developed in every student, no matter her field of study. Consistent with the College’s focus on women’s education, on building bridges from our beautiful 3,200-acre campus in Virginia to communities around the world, and on the role of science and technology in improving human society and protecting natural resources, The Center emphasizes support for women artists, forging connections with the international arts community, and on the role of the artist in issues of environmental sustainability and technological advancement.

As the only private college in the country to share its campus with one of the world’s leading residential artists communities — the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts hosts as many 400 visual artists, writers, and composers a year from around the world — Sweet Briar offers its students unique exposure to and transformative engagement with practicing artists whose honors range from MacArthur Fellowships and National Book Awards to Pulitzer Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy in Rome, and the Guggenheim Foundation.