Elkins College students will have the opportunity to learn how to use their creative talents to make a difference in the lives of others. Beginning this fall, the College will offer a minor in pre-art therapy that will combine practical arts and immersive learning through a collaboration with The Old Brick Playhouse.

Established within the Division of Creative Arts, the pre-art therapy minor will allow students to prepare for graduate studies in Art Therapy or explore techniques and practices that could be incorporated in a variety of fields. Missy McCollam, who serves as coordinator of the President’s Initiative on Community and Immersive Learning at D&E and executive director of The Old Brick Playhouse and The New School OBP, will lead the hands-on learning experiences.

“During its 30-year tenure, The Old Brick Playhouse has created and executed an innovative curriculum that includes art therapy, cultural tourism and arts in education,” McCollam said. “The Old Brick has partnered with the Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center and Mountain Memories to provide art therapy sessions for local residents. Now in their fourth season, The Old Brick will provide the opportunity for Davis & Elkins College students to receive training in the field of art therapy through practical application.”

Students pursuing a pre-art therapy minor will study art courses exploring traditional artforms and emerging digital forms of creative expression, as well as methods for teaching art, psychopathology and life span development. The minor will benefit a variety of students, especially those in the human services field, creative arts and education. Students will be required to participate in a pre-art therapy internship seminar that will allow them to individualize their education and ensure they get a comprehensive view of the field of art therapy.

The collaboration between the College and The Old Brick also will allow students to gain experiential learning in cultural tourism and educational arts programming through participation in The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice program and in-school workshops.