Arts and Culture

merced theatres art kamangar center photo

Shakespeare in Yosemite National Park

UC Merced and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley have a rich history in supporting arts and culture, and creating opportunities for the public to experience art shows, plays, musical performances and more.

Arts UC Merced Presents is a performance series open to UC Merced students, faculty and staff members, and the surrounding community. The program features quality professional artists and a range of offerings that fulfill its mission to not only entertain, but to educate and enrich. The program also coordinates the Bobcat Art Show each spring, showcasing art created by UC Merced students, faculty and staff members in the areas of drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media and photography/digital art.

On campus, students have the opportunity to perform in or work behind the scenes for the annual children’s opera, which reaches 3,500 school children each May, and to take part in Shakespeare in Yosemite performances. Several classes in the GASP and English programs offer performing and visual arts opportunities to students, as do several clubs, like Hip Hop Movement, Young Artist’s Movement, Ballet Folklòrico, and Dance Coalition. 

The Whiffen PoofsAdditionally, the UC Merced Art Gallery has become a vibrant place for aesthetic, cultural and intellectual exchanges on campus.

Founded by Professor ShiPu Wang in 2011, the gallery has presented a variety of exhibits and events that connect with diverse members of the UC Merced and Merced communities. The gallery's student curators, enrolled in Wang's museum-and-curatorial-studies courses to acquire historical and theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills, have helped make the gallery a success.

UC Merced has also partnered with many community art organizations including: