Over winter break, Wilson College hired a new Director to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program. Joshua Legg, who has previously guest choreographed for Wilson’s Orchesis ensemble, has taken the position.
Legg, originally from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, always knew the Fine Arts was something he wanted to pursue. He grew up in a very musical family, with music constantly playing around the house and immersing him in the atmosphere.
Legg has earned all three of his degrees from Shenandoah University: a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in dance, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Mass Communications. Originally, he never saw himself teaching, but after taking a choreography course for the first time as an undergrad, he was hooked.
As for how he came to work for Wilson, Legg accepted a residency with the dance program at Wilson a few years ago. He had a fantastic experience, and reflected on what brought him back.
“The broader experience on campus was an academic/artistic community. I’ve been on campuses where that existed, but I’ve been on faculty where that’s not the case,” Legg says. “And I look around here, and every day, I eat lunch with my colleagues in the cafeteria. There’s an aspect of comradery with the faculty and students and that doesn’t happen everywhere.”
As Legg is just starting out, he has yet to make his official mark on the program. But he did mention some highlights.
“The experience is just getting to know my students, my colleagues, the administration, the people. Finding out more from the student perspective, a bit about who they are and what they’re interested in. The kind of work that they’re doing. The kind of things they’ve gotten from the program and might like to see. I’ve been skyping with students that are from a distance, and students who are close enough, we’re meeting in person… so that’s been really important in developing relationships and understanding the program,” Legg mentions.
Bob Dickson, Chair of Arts and Letters, had similar words to say about Legg’s presence on campus, stating, “Joshua has knocked himself out to get to know the students, build strong relationships with different offices across campus, and is a genuinely nice guy. His positivity and generous nature make him the right director as we take the MFA to the next level.”
Legg has also looked at some future goals of the MFA program.
“As I think about the MFA program, because our students aren’t on campus, for the exception of the summer residency, one of the things I want to do is to help connect them to our community, and to Wilson culture,” Legg says. “I think Wilson’s culture is very unique. It’s rich, it’s deep, and the opportunity for a really unique artistic and academic experience that doesn’t exist on every campus.”
Philip Lindsey, Professor of Fine Arts, also expressed optimism of Legg taking the Director position.
“He has the experience in the discipline that we were looking for, he has the leadership skills we want and need, he has the organizational skill set needed for the job, and of course, the engaging personality that is so important to Wilson’s identity,” Lindsey states.
In conclusion, Legg says he is simply thrilled to be here and to be a part of the Wilson community. He hopes to help more students and graduate students to get involved as well. As for perspective MFA students, the program is “dedicated to deepening artistic voice and has an emphasis on collaboration.” As opposed to molding, the MFA program will support each student’s own interests and goals.
To learn more about Legg and his position with the MFA program, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.