Indiana State University Newsroom

Community School of the Arts gets new director

July 12, 2017

Cynthia Phillips-Sabla, former professor of art and design at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, has been hired as director of the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University.

Phillips-Sabla, a Terre Haute native, served as an assistant professor of art and design in the department of text and image at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods since August 2012 before coming to Indiana State in June.

"The arts is the one area that has always made my heart sing, and I like that this position adds a little diversity to the arts; it's not just one niche," she said. "We offer arts, music and theater for every age. For the kids, it's a new and creative way for them to think about problem solving. With our adult learners, the Community School of the Arts offers classes that take them out of their comfort zone and teach them something new."

Indiana State opened the Community School of the Arts in 2012 as one of the programs funded through the Unbounded Possibilities initiative. In 2014, the Community School of the Arts became an official department housed under University Engagement. The Community School of the Arts provides hands-on arts learning experiences for children, youth and adults in the Wabash Valley while providing Indiana State students who are majoring in the arts with opportunities for experiential learning through teaching.

"We're going to continue with what's working - summer camps, adult/ kid classes and private music lessons - because it's not broken, but we would like to add more theater, more music and we're looking into adding a show choir," Phillips-Sabla said. "In my short time here, I've realized that a lot of people still don't know what the Community School of the Arts is. So, we really want to network and market ourselves more in the community. I would like to focus more on community engagement, as well. Wherever there's a need, we'd like to check it out."

Phillips-Sabla earned a Master of Fine Arts in graphic design from Indiana State in 2012 and a Bachelor of Arts with a fine arts emphasis from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2009.

Photo: - Cynthia Phillips-Sabla

Contact: Cynthia Phillips-Sabla, director, Community School of the Arts, Indiana State University,

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or