Exploring the Arts RAP Fall 2014

Investigate how arts, culture and history shape our lives!

This RAP is available in two locations - students may join the RAP in the Southwest OR Central area of campus.

When you join this RAP you will... 

  • Enroll in a Gen Ed class, "The Lively Arts", that includes attendace at the Fine Arts Center Performing Arts Series events and guided visits to University Gallery exhibitions of sculpture, painting, and photography.
  • Explore the wealth of concerts, exhibits and performances that UMass and the surrounding area have to offer. 
  • Share your living-and-learning experience with other students who are curious and interested in studying about arts, identity and ideas.

This RAP is ideal for any first-year student whether you are entering UMass Amherst with a declared major or are undecided. 

Art has a thousand faces - and we encounter and experience them everyday, whether it be in the museum, concert hall, books, propaganda, or graffiti on the bathroom wall. The arts have always been an important vehicle for self expression, social commentary, and communication; they have played and continue to play crucial roles in the history of humanity. How do we define "art" and how does "art" define us?

Discussions will embrace topics such as:

  • The intersections between arts and identity
  • The nature of symbols and signs
  • Self expression and communication in art
  • Art with a mission or a message

In the RAP seminar students will:

  • Get involved in creating a syllabus that represents their own interests.
  • Think together as a group and have dynamic discussions.
  • Develop a language to talk about art and its various roles in society.
  • Share their own artistic creations, performances, and experiences with each other in small "show-and-tell" presentations.
  • Play some creative games on the side!

Be sure to visit the How to Join  page of this website to learn about the process and important timelines you must follow to become a member of this fantastic program!  


Fall 2014

ALL Students in the Exploring the Arts RAP will enroll in the following classes taught in the residential area:

"RAP Seminar"- UNIV 190R
1 credit


One section of the "The Lively Arts" - Music 150 (Gen Ed AT), 4 credits


"College Writing" - English 112 (Gen Ed CW), 3 credits, a limited number of sections will be offered in each residential area both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

Spring 2015 

  • No required RAP classes.
  • Small sections of Gen Ed classes will be offered in each residence area.



Students who join the Exploring the Arts RAP can choose to live in:

Pierpont Hall in the Southwest area of campus 

OR  in Van Meter Hall in the Central area of campus.

Pamela R. Marsh-Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Provost & Dean

This website is part of Undergraduate Advising & Learning Communities. We provide undergraduate students a variety of opportunities and services designed to facilitate the best academic experience possible. 609 Goodell Building, UMass Amherst.

UA&LC Units: Undergraduate Advising, Residential Academic Programs, Domestic Exchange Programs, Five College Interchange