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Starting fresh: A guide to arts and culture at Notre Dame

| Friday, August 18, 2023

Christina Sayut | The Observer

Although summer vacation has felt far too short to be over, it’s that time of year for classes to begin and usual campus activities to resume. Though classes and football will fill up most students’ free time, you may find space in your busy schedule for extracurriculars. However, the sheer number of clubs and organizations can cloud your ability to choose — you might not know where to start! Don’t worry, though. When it comes to arts and culture on campus, Scene’s got you covered. 


Whether you’re interested in playing an instrument or pressing play on a computer, there’s something for everyone. 

Musical performance organizations are hardly few and far between at Notre Dame. If you like to sing, you might be interested in checking out groups like Chorale, Folk Choir, Glee Club, Halftime, Harmonia or Magnificat Choir. Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, Handbell Choir or MariachiND are worth checking out if you have talent with plucking strings, ringing bells or making melodies with the keys.

You also might like music but not have any ability to create it. If curating playlists and talking about your favorite songs and artists is more your vibe, consider starting a radio show on WVFI or WSND

Theater and performance

Theater kids — if you’re looking for a new community to join, Notre Dame is the place for you! Fans of The Bard might want to look into joining the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company (NSR). The Pasquerilla East Musical Company (PEMCo) is a student-run musical theater group that has done productions like “Anything Goes” and “Something Rotten!” in past years. Show Some Skin takes monologues submitted by members of the Notre Dame community every year to produce unique and powerful performances exploring identity. The Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) also puts on productions each semester that are not limited to those in the program. 

Those interested in watching theater should keep an eye out for the schedule at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC). They host a variety of musical and theatrical groups to perform throughout the year, and students get a discounted rate for tickets to these events.

Maybe theater isn’t your thing, but you still have a hankering to be on the stage. Humor Artists are an improv comedy group that puts on both long and short-form comedy throughout the school year. 


You might like to move it (move it). Notre Dame boasts a large selection of dance groups, including the Notre Dame Dance Company, Transpose, Project Fresh and TroopND. Dance Africa, Ballet Folklórico Azúl y Oro (BFAYO), the Irish Dance Team and Hawaii Club are great options if you’re looking to become involved in a traditional or cultural dance organization. The NDSMC Ballroom Club and Swing Club provide students with options for partner dancing. 

Art, literature and writing

Those interested in the process of making physical artwork might want to consider the Calligraphy Club.

There are also plenty of options for people interested in reading and writing. Mustard Creative Writing Club, The Juggler, Yearbook and Re:Visions Literary Magazine are wonderful options for fans of writing outside the box. Students with a passion for journalism should consider looking into The Observer or Scholastic. Book Club is another possibility for those who appreciate the literary arts but don’t want to create them. 

Cultural heritage and appreciation

For those looking to get more in touch with their heritage or are interested in learning more about other people’s cultural experiences, there are plenty of clubs to get involved with. Some clubs of note include the Asian American Association of Notre Dame, Black Cultural Arts Council, Black Student Association, Chinese Culture Society, Filipino-American Student Association and Jewish Club

Further your search

While I’ve listed a great number of arts and culture clubs and organizations at Notre Dame, there are countless more that I’ve failed to mention. On Aug. 23, DPAC will host an event called Art Attack to showcase all available options for engaging wit

h the arts scene on campus. Activities Night in the Notre Dame Stadium Concourse on Aug. 29 will also be a great opportunity to see what catches your eye. 

As someone who has previously been completely overwhelmed by the amount of groups at Notre Dame, take your time exploring your options, and don’t be afraid to try something new. You’re in safe hands no matter what you do. 

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About Anna Falk

Anna is Scene Editor for the 2023-2024 academic year. She is a senior studying Neuroscience and Linguistic who talks about music too much for her own good. Follow her on Spotify @annam.falk

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