Learning for University Students and Faculty

Preservation Hall Jazz Band class visit, 2019

In addition to public performances, we strive to facilitate meaningful engagement and interaction between visiting artists and students. This is attained through multi-day artist residencies, class visits and artist-led workshops, masterclasses, and student internships and employment opportunities.

Artist Residencies

Artists with a special interest in teaching and community engagement are made part of the Schaefer Center Presents series, and are often engaged in a several day-long residency program of workshops, master classes, and other events that typically culminate in an evening performance. Residencies allow a deeper and more meaningful connection to be built over time between students, the local community and visiting artists.
A.I.M “Unifying Uniqueness” residency workshop
Contra Tiempo with the HSA at Plemmons Student Union, 2016
Contra Tiempo with the Hispanic Student Association at Plemmons Student Union

Master Classes and Class Visits

Master classes and classroom visits are generally part of what makes up a residency. Whether it’s a full-length residency spanning several days, or an afternoon spent on campus prior to a performance, every effort is made to engage university students and community members with artists in enriching master classes that push artistic boundaries and provide insight into the artistic processes that drive creativity and shape the performance experience.
A.I.M. “Unifying Uniqueness” residency workshop, 2020
A.I.M Masterclass with Ballet I/Modern I
Contra Tiempo with the HSA at Plemmons Student Union, 2016
Multidisciplinary artists from The Nile Project engage with students during a class visit on the stage of the Valborg Theatre.

The Schaefer Center as a
Hands-On Learning Lab, Through Internships and Student Employment Opportunities


The Schaefer Center serves as a learning lab for university students to gain employable skills through hands-on jobs in the box office, backstage, and in its administrative offices, honing their skills in areas ranging from arts management and customer service to technical/production functions, marketing and fundraising. Former student employees have gone on to work at such notable venues as the Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Lincoln Center, drawing upon the skills they first learned by working at the Schaefer Center.


A look at some of the Schaefer Center’s past students — shining stars then and now.
Dani Weishoff

Appalachian State alumni Adam Campbell tests a microphone on stage at the Schaefer Center before an event. 
Appalachian State alumni Maura McKenzie answers a call at the box office of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.


Learning from these accomplished, brilliant artists broadens our students’ perception of what is possible. When they see what seasoned professionals can achieve, they elevate their own goals and are inspired to build new skills and learn new approaches.”
Paulette Marty, PhD, Professor of Theatre Arts, Appalachian State University, Department of Theatre & Dance