CELIA (Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts)


Bernstein’s MASS by Wright State and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Center, 2011
CELIA named Ohio Center of Excellence

Dean Charles Taylor and chairs of the arts departments of the Wright State University College of Liberal Arts formed CELIA, an Ohio Center of Excellence for Collaborative Education, Leadership and Innovation in the Arts, in late 2008. CELIA was founded in response to a request from the University System of Ohio (USO). The USO had invited public and private universities in the state to submit selected programs for Center of Excellence designation. Institutions nominated particularly outstanding programs for further consideration as possible “statewide” centers.

Following presentation to the president and provost of the university, CELIA was designated a Wright State Center of Excellence in early 2009, and music professor Hank Dahlman, D.M.A., was appointed the founding director in May of that year. Thanks to the strong support of the president, provost, and Board of Trustees, CELIA was named an Ohio Center of Excellence in October 2011—one of three arts-related centers in the state.

In 2011, CELIA introduced its first grant program for arts faculty working in collaboration with significant external or internal partners. Maximum awards are $2,500 for one academic year, funded on an ad hoc basis.

In 2012, CELIA introduced two exciting new initiatives, the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program and the CELIA Fellows Program. In 2013, the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program began bringing nationally or internationally known artists on campus for a short-term residency featuring immersive interaction with Wright State and area arts students and professionals, as well as high-level performances and exhibitions. The residency included publicly available lectures and master classes on campus, performances, and exhibitions sponsored by CELIA and a related regional arts partner. Also in 2013, the CELIA Fellows Program provided funded research and creative scholarship fellowships to faculty in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, with a focus on collaboration and innovation.

Thus, since its inception, CELIA has made important contributions to the quality of life and economy of Wright State, the region, the state, and nationally. As a result, CELIA has collaborated with and received significant recognition by such varied organizations and artists as HBO, CPB, Tom Hanks, the Dayton Philharmonic, Human Race Theatre Company, and Maestro Neal Gittleman. CELIA has also received recognition for its accomplishments by two Ohio governors, two USO Chancellors, local community and arts leaders and institutions, and the Wright State Board of Trustees.

Special Projects and Events

  • The Last Truck (2009), documentary film produced by Wright State faculty and students in collaboration with Home Box Office and nominated for an Academy Award.
  • STEAM3 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, Music, and Medicine) (2009) incorporates the creative arts to teach science and math. The class combines the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with art, music, and even medicine! In STEAM3, teams of students teach science or math units at area schools using art or music as the methodology.
  • ARTSGALA (annual), joint gala performances and exhibits by faculty and students has raised millions in scholarship funds for arts students since 2000.
  • Holidays in the Heartland (annual), holiday music and art production in the Schuster Center, Dayton, involving more than 250 participants, including Air Force personnel and local arts and educational groups.
  • August Osage County, (2010)  joint production between the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures (TDMP) and the Human Race Theatre Company, Dayton.
  • MASS by Leonard Bernstein (2011), joint production between Music, TDMP, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Kettering Children’s Chorus. Budget of more than $250,000 and generated approximately $750,000 in related economic impact in the form of ticket sales, technical and performance employment, and related sales in restaurants and other local entertainment venues.
  • Music in Medicine Symposium (2012) showcased the Wright State collaborative program between the School of Music and School of Medicine. It was a two-day event, consisting of a concert and a professional conference.
  • Localore: Reinvention (2012), joint production of Wright State film faculty and students, National Public Radio affiliate WYSO of Yellow Springs, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Through interviews and in depth presentations sheds a light on the effects of the Great Recession on area workers.


Take the Next Step

Finding the right college means finding the right fit. See all that the College of Liberal Arts has to offer by visiting campus.