The College of Performing and Visual Arts was formed comprising The School of Theatre Arts, The Yared School of Music and The School of fine Arts and Design, The Cultural Center and Modern Art Museum, Gebre-Kirestos Desta Center in 2010. The units under the College had been functioning separately for decades. Their independent contributions to the advancement of arts in Ethiopia have been enormous. However, it was studied and decided that the units should be placed together under an umbrella of a College which can strengthen the already existing activities and integrate them. The amalgamation of the units under one college is strongly believed to integrate artistic activities in the University.

Since its establishment, the College has done extraordinary artistic activities. Staff and students of The Yofthahe Nigussie School of Theatre Arts and Yared School of Music, for instance, have collaborated in the presentation of more than three musical drama productions in the last two years. There are also a number of artistic ventures going on.

The College has also extended its collaboration with national and international institutions which are promising in the area of research, artistic production and other collaborations. Relations have been formed with the University of Illinois, USA, Tshwane University of Science and Technology, South Africa, The Ethiopian National Theatre, Goethe Institute and the House of Federation.