Liberal Arts Minor

My advisor for my liberal arts minor never stopped being a source of inspiration.
Bryce Leafman'16 BM Percussion Performance, Liberal Arts Minor

The purpose of the Liberal Arts Minor is to provide students the opportunity to gain breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in a focused area of study in the Liberal Arts and to provide them with a useful credential as they pursue further study and careers beyond NEC. 

Students can declare a Liberal Arts Minor in one of the following areas: Literature, Cultural Studies, History, Social Studies, Philosophy, Science, and Creative Arts.  Alternatively, students may design a personalized curriculum with a selected sequence of courses that coherently combines more than one area of study, such as Cultural Studies and History. 

Declared Minors work closely with their Liberal Arts Minor Advisor during their course of study, which culminates in the Capstone Project, a self-designed Independent Study in which students can explore the focus of their Minors through the completion of a scholarly research project, or a creative project, or some combination of scholarly and creative work.  Students present their Capstone Projects at a scheduled event in an NEC performance hall.


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2020 Capstone Projects
Alex Garde

Alex Garde, “Listening to Future Forests” (research and creative project for the LARTS Minor in Environmental Science, spring 2020.  Adviser Matthew Duveneck) 
This project simulates the next 100 years of a forest under two scenarios: one with normal climatic conditions, and one with climate change. The simulations are represented musically, allowing one to “listen” to the forest in order to help understand the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems. 

View Alex's presentation here.

Ilana Zaks

Ilana Zaks, “Flying Forward” (multimedia project for the LARTS Minor in Creative Arts, spring 2020.  Adviser Patrick Keppel) 
A multimedia performance featuring Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, a dance premiere, and a documentary film on the subject of the empowerment of women in the classical music, fashion design, electronic production, film and dance industries. 

View Ilana's presentation here.

Allyson Bennett

Allyson Bennett, “The Marriage of Lieder and Text” (research project for the LARTS Minor in German, spring 2020.  Adviser Sia Stovall) 
An examination of the relationship between Romantic German text and Lieder through various settings of Goethe's Der Erlkönig. 

View Allyson's presentation here.

Andrew Barnwell Headshot

Andrew Barnwell, “Observational Study of Museum Visitors’ Interactions with Analog and Digital Educational Tools” (research project for the LARTS Minor in Social Studies, spring 2020.  Adviser James Klein)  
Research from the Jacob Lawrence Gallery of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), along with demographic data and financial analysis of the PEM and the Museum of Fine Arts 

If you are interested in reading this paper, please contact Andrew Barnwell at

McKinley James

McKinley James, “New England Traditional Music and Dance” (research project for the LARTS Minor in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology, spring 2020.  Adviser James Klein) 
A comprehensive study of the traditions of contra dance, showing the heritage and community of New England dance and music through a historical and modern study of culture and music. 

View McKinley's presentation here.

Previous Liberal Arts Minor Capstone Projects

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