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Lilly Hall
Jordan College of the Arts

History of JCA

2020 marked the 125th anniversary of the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University! The College includes the departments of art, arts administration, dance, and theatre, as well as the School of Music.

The College began as the Metropolitan School of Music, founded in 1895. Originally located just north of Monument Circle, the Metropolitan School was one of the first ten schools devoted to higher music education in the United States. A rival school, the College of Musical Arts, was begun in 1907 by a former MSM faculty member, and this second music college later became the Indiana College of Music and Fine Arts. These two institutions were purchased by philanthropist Arthur Jordan in 1928 and merged as the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music.

In 1949, the name was changed to the Jordan College of Music, and in 1951, after 23 years of close affiliation, the conservatory became a part of Butler University. The name was changed to the Jordan College of Fine Arts in 1978, and to the Jordan College of the Arts in 2012.

With over 400 students, a faculty comprised of 47 full-time and 45+ part-time members, and a dedicated staff of 18, JCA enriches both the University and greater Indianapolis community by presenting nearly 150 performances and exhibitions annually.

In 1995, Jack Eaton, former JCA dean, published a history of the first 100 years of the College. This fascinating chronicle is available for purchase by contacting Jan Thornburgh, JCA receptionist, at (317) 940-9231 or Cost is $10.