Impact through investment: Lipscomb equipping tomorrow’s entertainment industry professionals, leaders

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For students looking to make their mark in their entertainment industry, Lipscomb University’s George Shinn College Entertainment & the Arts is the place to learn how.

Located in the heart of Music City, the college exposes students to premiere training in state-of-the-art facilities, vast industry connections and experiences that reach all corners of the world.

Led by dean Mike Fernandez, the CEA houses undergraduate programs in fashion and design, music, theatre and dance, and visual arts; as well as both an undergraduate and graduate program in cinematic arts. It also features a distinguished faculty roster of music industry veterans, former Disney animators, award-winning cinematographers including:  

  • Brown Bannister, interim director of the School of Music, is a Grammy- and Dove Award-winning music producer;
  • Steve Taylor, assistant professor of film & creative media, is a Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and award-winning filmmaker;
  • Tom Bancroft, artist-in-residence, is a former Disney animator;
  • Michael Shane Neal, artist-in-residence, is an internationally renowned portrait artist;
  • Marcus Finnie, adjunct professor of music, composer and drummer behind Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum
  • And more. View the full faculty line up here.

With close to 75 art events each year, the CEA has also brought several industry leaders to campus including singer-songwriter Amy Grant, country stars Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett along as well as Grammy Award-winning music groups including Fairfield Four, Imani Winds and Eroica Trio. Other noteworthy speakers include former Disney Animator Aaron Blaise; director of Marvel’s Doctor Strange Scott Derrickson; author of the New York Times bestseller Unaccountable that inspired the FOX’s new primetime medical drama “The Resident” Dr. Marty Makary; to name a few.

In just three years since it was first established, the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts has had several significant accomplishments.

In 2018, Lipscomb’s visual arts program was named No. 2 in the nation in the Top 10 Christian College Visual Arts Programs 2018

In May 2017, Lipscomb also became the latest owner of the Sound Emporium, one of Nashville’s vibrant recording studios for nearly 50 years. In addition to Lipscomb preserving the professional production capacity of the studio, the studio will also serve as a real-world learning lab for contemporary music students in the university’s George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts. Read The Tennessean, The Washington Times and Nashville Post articles, to learn more.  

“This generous gift provides an extremely valuable learning opportunity for our students in the contemporary music program, as well as those who are interested in a variety of aspects of the recording industry,” said Fernandez.

“The Sound Emporium has played a key role in the development of the music industry in Nashville, and we are thrilled that Lipscomb will now get to play a role in preserving this icon in the industry. With the studio located just one mile from Lipscomb, the Sound Emporium will provide students the opportunity to learn from industry leaders and artists at one of the nation’s top recording studios through internships, hands-on experience and other initiatives.”

In 2017, Lipscomb University’s undergraduate film program has been ranked the top in Tennessee and No. 26 in the nation in the College Choice Best Film Bachelor’s DegreesHoused in the School of Theatre and Cinematic Arts, the BFA in film production provides real-world instruction and expertise to students. Courses include multimedia storytelling, film as literature, the documentary, media and culture, line producing, screenwriting, cinematography, directing for film and digital imaging, among others.

In 2016, Grammy Award-winning producer Charlie Peacock founded Lipscomb’s Contemporary Music Program, and later that year, Lipscomb unveiled the program’s new facility, which mimics that of a recording studio house on Nashville’s storied Music Row with all of the latest technologies, classroom and office spaces and a creative environment for students to hone their craft. Read the full Tennessean article here

In 2015, Lipscomb took a group of nine students in its dual MBA and Master of Fine Arts program to the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, to learn about the business of the film industry.

In 2014, the college launched the 5 Minute Film Festival, Lipscomb’s premier film event, to encourage students to use their creativity to broaden their scope of storytelling; and Lipscomb Theatre created The Spotlight Awards which were formerly known as the High School Musical Theatre Awards, to honor hundreds of students from 12 area high schools.

Located in the heart of the entertainment industry, Lipscomb has also welcomed thousands of musicians, producers, industry leaders and music fans to campus as part of the 44th, 45th, 46th and 47th annual GMA Dove Awards. Since 2014, the university has fostered a relationship with the Gospel Music Association, a company-in-residence, to host the awards show in Lipscomb’s Allen Arena.

For the past 13 years, thousands of community members have also gathered on Lipscomb’s campus for another music event: The Lighting of the Green. Since 2003, Amy Grant has kicked-off the holiday season with musical friends at in the free community event at Lipscomb.

Want to learn more about the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts? Visit: