Skip to main content

Visual, Performing, and Media Arts

Frank Trezza
Frank Trezza, Collegewide Dean of Visual, Performing, and Media Arts

Welcome to the Visual, Performing, and Media Arts area. We comprise three departments on the Rockville Campus (art, performing arts, and media arts and technologies), the arts cohort on the Germantown Campus, and the Visual and Performing Arts Department on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

Through instruction and training in a variety of formats, including lecture, demonstration, and hands-on participation, students gain experience in art, music, dance, theatre, photography, film, graphic design, web design, animation and gaming, and television and radio. Associate of arts degrees and certificate programs expand employment opportunities or prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions.

Dr. Frank Trezza began as the Dean of Visual, Performing, and Media Arts at Montgomery College in February 2018.  Dr. Trezza was most recently at SUNY New Paltz where he served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. In addition to his administrative, teaching, and scholarly duties at SUNY New Paltz, Dr. Trezza has continued his professional theatre work through his affiliation with the Half Moon Theatre in Hudson Valley, New York, where he was a freelance actor and director.  Prior to his arrival at SUNY New Paltz, Dr. Trezza held previous faculty and administrative positions as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at Bradley University, Illinois, and as Associate Dean and Director of Academics at Florida State University’s School of Theatre, Florida.

Dr. Trezza brings a wealth of experience, both academically and professionally, to the Visual, Performing, and Media Arts (VPMA) area. He trained professionally with the legendary Uta Hagen and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). He spent a dozen years as a theatre artist based in NYC, and his professional theatre credentials as an actor and director include work in NYC and around the country in film, television, and on the stage. He has directed numerous college plays as well as having directed several works off-Broadway including “My Father, My Son” at the South Street Theatre; “Overruled” and “Village Wooing” at Avalon Repertory Theatre; and “The Actor Chronicles” at Cubiculo Theatre. As an actor, he has toured with “The Adventures of Don Quixote,” “Hamlet,” and “Macbeth” with the National Theatre of the Performing Arts and acted in several off-Broadway and regional productions.  His combination of academic leadership and professional engagement with students and local thespians, ensures he will provide an exciting, challenging, and engaging environment for the faculty and students in the VPMA area.

Dr. Trezza earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York (SUNY), Purchase College’s Theatre Arts Conservatory, a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre Studies from Florida State University.

Nationally, Dr. Trezza has presented papers, panels, and workshops at a variety of conferences including the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).  He has also served in leadership positions for national associations including ATHE, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and the National Theatre Conference (NTC), and has had professional affiliations with Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of America (LMDA), the Ibsen Society of America, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG) – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC), among others already noted.

Support Staff

Academic Departments

Art Department - Germantown
Department Chair: Tendai Johnson

Art Department - Rockville
Department Chair: Tendai Johnson

Media Arts & Technologies Department - Rockville 
Department Chair: Katherine Hubley

Degrees and Certificates

More Programs and Courses

Noncredit Classes

Community Arts provides noncredit classes for professional and aspiring artists, taught by working artists. We build our schedule based on community needs and interests, so we'd love to hear from you. Find out more.

Supporting MC's Strategic Plan

The Visual, Performing, and Media Arts departments have undertaken a wide variety of initiatives and programs to support Montgomery College's Strategic window

Goal 1: Enhance Connections between MC and our Community.
Goal 2: Cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone at the College.
Goal 3: Fuel the economy and drive economic mobility.
Goal 4: Build, engage, and strengthen community partnerships.

Goal 1: Enhance connections between Montgomery College and our community.

  • Gallery Exhibits including Portraits of Life in fall 2023, curated by Professor Ken Jassie. Opening reception included guests from both within the College and the larger community. Speakers included four Holocaust survivors, President Williams, and two Montgomery County Council representatives: Andrew Friedson, President, and Will Jawando.
  • Collaboration agreement with VisArts for the Artist in Residence program. In fall 2023, artist Charlotte Richardson-Deppe, worked with students in creating soft sculpture as social practice that resulted in a recorded performance. This was the first of a series of these collaborations with VisArts’ Bresler Resident Artist program, whereby, professional artists apply to both residency programs.
  • ArtWalk takes place in April on the campus grounds of both Rockville and Germantown campuses. Art work by individual students and class collaborations can be seen throughout the campus grounds for a week. Our Patterns, Light projections, with former Artist in Residence, Natan Diacon-Furtado, have been incorporated into the ArtWalk event. April 2023 evening event drew both internal and external audiences with Natan Diacon-Furtado in attendance.
  • Professor Sumita Kim and students worked with Gaithersburg Middle School students in creating murals throughout their building.
  • Four-year pathways developed with two top transfer institutions – UMD College Park, and Towson University art programs. Currently working towards an Art Education pathway with UMD College Park.
  • Summer High School art program initiative. The Rockville Art Department’s Outreach Committee has reached out to ten high schools in Montgomery County with a survey on possible options for summer art programs at the Rockville campus. Initiative proposals include, but are not limited to, summer high school students’ art exhibition, studio art class options, including an emphasis on portfolio development for art school applications. The Committee is inviting art teachers to a spring semester dinner event at the Sarah Silberman Gallery for further discussions and collaboration.

Goal 2: Cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone at the College.

  • New and returning Hybrid Information/Advising Sessions prior to start of fall semesters. This introduces students to each other, to student organizations and activities, as well as provide program advising opportunities.
  • ARTT263 Professional Practices for Visual Artists Portfolio Event. Over 38 local, national and international institutions attend virtually to meet with students enrolled in this required capstone course and give feedback on portfolio and student presentations.
  • Student Art League. An active art club coordinated by Professor Lucy Derickson, which invites professional artists to present on their work. The Student Art League (SAL) has been active in many collegewide activities, such as the Mental Health Awareness day events and ArtWalk.
  • Student Exhibitions. In spring semesters, the Art Department installs a Student Exhibition with each section represented. This highlights and celebrates student success.
  • Advising. During fall 2023, the chair sent a letter to all art majors addressed in handwriting to each student. This letter contained information and advising information session registration. The chair followed up with emails and we had a little over 50 art majors attend on Advising Day.

Goal 3: Enhance educational and organizational effectiveness.

Program Advising:

  • Regularly train all FT faculty on Program Advising.
  • Initiated a Discipline MSTeams to store all students’ Program Advising forms. This site also has Program Advising Training material, Advising Tracking Spreadsheet, Four-Year Pathway agreements Advising Worksheets, Articulation Agreement Advising Worksheets, etc.

Curriculum Revisions:

  • Deleted ARTT116 Digital Tools for the Visual Artist that was a duplicate course with GDES116 Digital Tools for the Visual Artist as of AY2024-25. This curricular action removes point of confusion for both students and academic advisors.
  • Revision of recommended sequence of courses in both the AA in Art 618 and AFA in Studio Art 910 programs. Math and English foundation courses within first 18 credits (Math foundation as second course and both ENGL101 and ENGL102 within 18 credits). Revision also includes considerations for UMD College Park’s College of Arts & Humanities Global Engagement language requirements to support seamless transfer.
  • Budget Logs on MSTeams. Allows for tracking all Departmental expenses throughout the year, for both purchase card and purchase orders. Shared budget log processes with Visual & Performing Arts Department, TPPS.
  • Instituted Departmental and Discipline Committees, as follows:
  • Discipline (collegewide): Art Curriculum and Assessment Committee, and Teaching Innovation Committee.
  • Department: Advising Committee, Gallery Committee, Information Technology Committee, Interdisciplinary Committee, Outreach Committee, Scholarship Committee, Special Projects Committee, Student Art League Committee, and an ad hoc Germantown Art Advisory Workgroup.
  • New staff position: Instructional Lab Coordinator – to support the Department instructional supplies and equipment needs and reports to Lab Manager.

Goal 4: Increase economic impact for our students and community.

  • ARTT290 Paid Internship opportunities with credit to prestigious museums and non-profit arts organizations that offer students the potential to develop long-term relationships upon transfer and completion of four-year programs.
  • Community mural opportunities for students (class and individual) that enhance community spaces while offering dynamic experiential learning opportunities for art majors.
  • County Council Student Exhibition, fall 2023, which highlighted multiple students’ works and served to support their potential impact both present and future within the community.

Goal 1: enhance connections between Montgomery College and our Community

Spring 23: MC students participated in juried exhibition at community art space, Rhizome DC.
Fall 23: Performing Arts area presented a Short Film Fest featuring local filmmakers; featuring both screenings and filmmaker’s roundtable

Goal 2: Cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone at the College

Fall 23: Lecture: Lucas J. Rougeux: Queer/Trans Art and Fostering Community
Fall 23: Interdisciplinary Performance: Shadow Cortex and the Unfathomable Depths, featuring Japanese calligrapher Setshu Shiraishi and Butoh dancer Azumi OE.

Also, separate calligraphy workshop held for drawing students

Spring 24: Newbodies/Nobodies a cultural exchange exhibition featuring staff/faculty of the department of visual and performing arts at MC and Korean artists identified by the CICA Museum – South Korea on the subject of the “body”. Simultaneous exhibition held, with MC artists exhibiting in South Korea and Korean artists exhibiting in King Street Gallery at MC. Co-curated by Drs. Leejin Kim and Norberto Gomez.

Spring 24: Community Experiments in Sound and Movement, a two-day experimental music/dance event featuring local performers with an emphasis on BIPOC artists.

Goal 1: Enhance Connections between Montgomery College and our Community

Continue to leverage and increase our partnership with BlackRock Arts

  • Revisit offering Ballet I or Modern I dance course at BlackRock Arts
  • Offering Applied Credit and non-credit options for Guitar and Piano
  • Bring some of our Theatre short-plays and reading to BlackRock Arts

Build our relationships deeper with MCPS

  • Reactivating the Dance Tours to MCPS (Prof. Alice Howes)
  • Invitational invites of tours to the arts facilities for Elementary and Middle Schools
  • Free admissions to MCPS Performing Arts High School Students with IDs
  • Faculty recruiting in-person at MCPS
  • Future plans to host the MCPS Theatre Festival
  • Music, Dance and Theatre full-time and part-time faculty serve as Adjudicators for MCPS performing arts events.
  • Re-establish our Advisory Committee (Sort of Dissolved during Covid)
  • Increase Performances and outreach to Civic and community groups
  • Continue to develop a partnership with the Rockville Chamber of Commerce to revitalize the Town Center with the performing Arts.
  • Remain connected to community theatres in support of their needs for props, costumes and other production support.
  • Create more opportunities for audience engagement with talk-backs, facility tours, pre-performance events. 

Goal 2: Cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone at the College.

  • Continue to promote a welcoming environment for all our students who want to engage and participate in the performing arts.
  • Ensuring that our performance and physical spaces are welcoming, supportive, and safe for all students.
  • Intrusive advising and career guidance for our students.
    • Alumni panels
    • Internships
  • Continue to enhance our Fall Advising Day with workshops, performances, and mock auditions

Goal 3: Enhance educational and organization effectiveness.

  • More faculty training in advising in using institutional technology
  • Clear and focused internal advising sheets for student success (4 semester and 6 semester completions advising sheets)
  • Encourage professional development for faculty to update their skills in course delivery and content advancements. 
  • Digitize more of our supplementary instructional materials for easier student access. 
  • Streamlining the performance courses in Dance and Theatre with increase instructional and lab time for student success.
  • Formalize all Articulation/Transfer agreements with our surrounding 4-year institutions.

Goal 4: Increase economic impact for our students and community.

  • Increase internship, apprenticeship and mentoring opportunities and employment opportunities for students.
  • Alumni talk-backs for students to be informed on what success looks like, and how to pursue your Goals.
  • Look for areas in our programs to create Micro-Credentials. (Theatre Tech- USITT, Music Tech- AVID ProTools)

Media Arts and Technologies supports MC’s Strategic Plan Goals through Arts Advocacy, Community outreach, advising student groups, outreach to local businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and community leaders. Below is a list of specific initiatives taken by MA&T faculty and staff over the past year, with reference to the specific Goals supported by that action. Upcoming initiatives are also included.  

  • Creation of Rockville Student Gaming Club Fall 2023 (Prof. Erik Swanson, Prof. Katherine Hubley, advisors.) Goal 1 and Goal 2
  • Creation of Media Club Fall 2023 (Dr. Thames Copeland, advisor.) Goal 1 and Goal 2
  • Event Participation with League of Women Voters and Rockville City Council Candidates on October 12, 2023. MA&T TVRA Coordinator and Professor, Dr. Tiffany Thames Copeland served as the moderator for a televised Rockville City Council Candidate Forum event organized by the League of Women Voters in collaboration with MC.  Goal 2 and Goal 4 
  • Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Media Forward Event, with student engagement and networking with representatives from WETA, Deloitte, Game Gym, NBC, etc. November 2, 2023.  Goal 1, Goal 3, and Goal 4
  • Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Film Festival Event for students December 15, 2023. Goal 1 and Goal 2 
  • Media Arts Participation in VPMA Advising event, Fall 2023 Goal 1 and Goal 2.
  • Student Work Exhibit in Collaboration with Montgomery County Council; showing student work in the County Council building, celebrating students with opening reception and county proclamation in collaboration with Montgomery County Councilmembers, Montgomery College Administrators, and colleagues in the Art Department in Rockville, Germantown and TPSS. MA&T Staff Member, John Hoover spearheaded this effort, collected artwork, and hung the show. Previously Mr. Hoover, and Prof. Ronald Beverly piloted this effort with their own work showing in the County Council Building the previous year. Goal 1, Goal 3 and Goal 4
  • Postcard Project: GDES 212 Publication Design worked with students in COMM 220 in collaboration with Deans Trezza and Glade, and the Office of Advancement and Community Engagement. Students on winning team received cash award. Goal 2, Goal 3, and Goal 4. 
  • Proficiency Credit pilot with GDES 116 Digital Tools for the Visual Arts, and with GDES 121 Fundamentals of Graphic Design I; Students at Thomas Edison High School who took equivalent classes there, and underwent a portfolio review, received not only credit—but a grade for their work in GDES 116 and GDES 121 on their transcript (proficiency credit), that they can carry forward to their next institution Goal 1 and Goal 4
  • MC Art Beat Newsletter, ongoing participation Goal 1 and Goal 2
  • Laptop lending program in collaboration with IT, for students in Media Arts to support students without means for computer hardware. Goal 2 
  • Micro-credentialing workgroup participation. Goal 2, Goal 3
  • MA&T Collaboration with MC Votes student group (upcoming Spring 2024) Goal 1 and Goal 2
  • MA&T Participation in Merit Badge University Boy Scouts badge event (upcoming February 17 2024.) Media Arts will offer a morning Graphic Design badge session (Prof. Hubley) and an afternoon Animation badge session, both in the Technical Center (Prof. Swanson.) Goal 1, Goal 2, and Goal 4
  • Career day for Media Arts Students with representatives from local businesses, organizations and government agencies for networking and tips for student resumes, applications, portfolios, and interviewing techniques (Planning stages for Fall 2024.) Goal 1, Goal 2, Goal 3, and Goal 4. 

Goal 1: Enhance connections between Montgomery College and our community 

Supporting Strategies:

  • Scale up outreach efforts in the community to raise awareness of the academic, cultural, and civic opportunities available at the College.  Continue to expand advertising for Community Arts
  • Advertising with East City Art to better reach the local arts community
  • Tabling at festivals to be visible in the community.  Combined marketing with credit and cultural programs
  • Including info about arts events in Community Arts advertising
  • Discussions about local marketing efforts in the TPSS area that focus on the arts at MC, not just a single program
  • Expand collaborations with county students who are in elementary and middle school. Helping get the word out about camper to college: gets grade school students in the door and interested in MC and specific programs
  • Improve alignment and communication of workforce advisory committees in all programs. Planning to establish an advisory group/board for Community Arts, focused on reaching broader demographic, more workforce-oriented programming
  • Engage with key county and regional civic, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations.
  • Planning to make non-credit articulation agreements with area arts organizations so students can move prerequisites back and forth

Intended Outcomes:

  • Continuous enrollment growth, across demographic characteristics, to be the community’s college.   
    Working on expanding our demographic reach, this could also be an asset. CE students are generally one of the biggest donor bases to a community college, so we could work on mobilizing this group’s resources to help with enrollment growth across demographic characteristics through scholarships.Unduplicated
  • Lots of CA students! Our headcount for FY23 was comparable to Media Arts and VPA 

Goal 2: Cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone at the College 

Supporting Strategies:

  • Leverage innovative teaching and delivery models to ensure equitable access and success for all students and employees. 
    Keeping structured remote classes as part of CA’s offerings so we can provide for different schedule needs and learning styles
    Encouraging faculty to approach students with disabilities with a “diff-abled” approach.
  • Foster a culture of professional growth among all College employees. 
    Give my faculty the opportunity to attend CA classes as a faculty observer. They get documented experience in classroom observation and are able to take the class for free.
  • Implement ways to validate students’ experiences by streamlining the transfer-in processes, the awarding of credit for prior learning, and pathways between credit and noncredit programs. 
    o Working with all of WDCE to implement new WDCE registration software that will make it way easier for students to register for classes and get onboarded.
    Expand efforts to inform non-credit students of credit options and students/alumni of non-credit options
  • Currently include credit course numbers and CRNs in catalog, info about signing up for credit classes
  • Developed set of instructions for non-credit students applying to the college as students taking classes for personal enrichment
  • Make data-informed decisions based on engagement and satisfaction survey results to develop timely action plans, implement change, and evaluate progress. 
  • Recently changed CA student course evaluation to get better metrics for engagement and satisfaction

Goal 3: Enhance educational and organizational effectiveness 

Supporting Strategies:

  • Streamline the student registration process for all students. 
    Working with all of WDCE to implement new WDCE registration software that will make it way easier for students to register for classes and get onboarded.
  • Expand and innovate high impact teaching practices. 
    Putting together a committee of CA faculty to develop a best-practices guide for online teaching in our area specifically
  • Expand the use of data to effectively monitor student enrollment and the progression through their academic journey, including post-completion success. 
    Currently asking students in their course evaluation:
  • Why they took the class (practicing artist/arts industry worker/hobbyist) to determine student motivation for taking our classes. If they think class will be useful in their art career (if that’s why they took it) to measure value of our classes for professionals.
  • Planning to do surveys a few years out to determine whether students are using skills learned in their art practice or career.

Goal 4: Increase economic impact for our students and community 

Supporting Strategies:

  • Partner with industry representatives, where appropriate, to inform students, faculty, and staff of best practices and current trends. 
  • Working with all of WDCE to implement new WDCE registration software that will make it way easier for students to register for classes and get onboarded.
  • Expand equitable access to internships, experiential learning, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities for all students. 
  • Exploring opportunities to offer professional development classes where students participate in a public-facing program, like exhibition design and installation or festival selling