Arts Education Is My Livelihood

Tom’s Story
At Metropolitan Community College, we believe creativity drives job creation, produces workforce growth, and fuels economic development. That’s why our visual arts classes combine creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship._DSC1105

My passion is to ensure faculty and students have the tools they need to be successful and produce great art. Not only are they producing great art, but students are developing their conceptual skills, their creativity skills, and their problem solving and critical analysis skills. My reward is seeing MCC students and faculty succeed. During the past year:

  • MCC received the 2014 Thomas C Woods Partner in the Arts Award from the Nebraska Arts Council, and adjunct ARTS instructor Steve Tamayo is the 2014 Heritage Award winner.
  • MCC ARTS instructor Jamie Burmeister was the 2013 Omaha Entertainment and Arts award winner as best 3D artist.
  • Three MCC students produced and directed short films that were accepted into the Omaha Film Festival.MCC art
  • MCC’s Photo program cohosted, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln photo program, the Midwest Regional Society of Photographic Educators conference in Lincoln.
  • MCC ARTS student Lisa Schlotfeld painted one of the pianos for the, “Play Me I’m Yours,” public art project.
  • MCC Interior Design Students teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and local design professionals to create room vignettes, using items from the Habitat ReStore. The vignettes were on display at Westroads mall.
  • MCC playwriting and acting students wrote and produced one act plays and performed these plays at each of our campuses and centers.
  • We established the Commonwealth Gallery, where students create work that is available to the general public for purchase.

The highlight of the academic year is our annual student art exhibit at our Gallery of Art and Design at the Elkhorn Valley Campus, 204th and West Dodge. The student show includes Art, Animation, Graphic Design, Photography and Video. Students earn scholarships for award-winning work and, thanks to the MCC Foundation, some student work is purchased and added to the college’s permanent art collection. The student show opens April 24th, with awards announced at 6:00pm. Hope to see you there!

About Tom McDonnell, Tom
Tom McDonnell has been Dean of Humanities and Visual Arts at Metropolitan Community College since 2008. He has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University, a Master’s in communication from Eastern Illinois University and a Doctorate in higher education leadership from Northcentral University. He has more than 23 years of experience in community colleges, working in a variety of capacities. He also chairs MCC’s Public Art Committee, which seeks to identify good locations for public art on MCC’s campuses and acquire work which speaks to the mission of the College as a comprehensive institution of higher learning.

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