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California State University, Long Beach
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COTA Talking Points

Community, Opportunity, Talent, Achievement

The CSULB College of the Arts is one of the largest publicly supported institutions west of the Mississippi. Currently, a community of more than 3,500 students, 300 faculty, and 50 staff members explore and learn together in the fields of Art, Dance, Industrial and Interior Design, Film and Electronic Arts, and Theatre Arts.

There are more students studying art and design at California State University, Long Beach than at any other public university in the nation.

CSULB’s School of Art (formerly known as the Department of Art) is the largest academic unit on the CSULB campus, with more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students studying as art majors.

National Rankings and Recognitions

CSULB Dance is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its exceptional dance complex, with seven dance studios, a state of the art wellness clinic specifically for dancers, a dedicated dance theatre, a complete costume shop, and a computer/media center with workstations designed to assist dancers working with 21st century technologies.

CSULB is one of only two universities in the country to offer the MFA/MBA graduate business degree in Theatre Management. The other university is Yale.

Pacific Standard Time (PST), CSULB’s premiere vocal jazz ensemble, has won the prestigious Downbeat Magazine recognition as best college/university vocal jazz ensemble for the past three years. PST has won the Monterey Jazz Next Generation Festival student competition every year it has competed.

The Bob Cole Conservatory is home to the largest undergraduate voice program in California.

In March 2012 the CSULB University Art Museum was awarded “Best Show in a University Gallery” by the American Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics. The award honored “Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg,” a 2010 exhibition co-curated by UAM Director Chris Scoates and graduate student Elizabeth Hanson.

Banned, Blacklisted and Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It (The B-Word Project) was an 18-month campus-wide initiative coordinated by the Carpenter Center with performances and campus activities to stimulate discussions that examine what happens when a voice—whether in artistic endeavors, journalism, scientific research or other areas—is stifled through governmental, commercial, or social restraints. It is funded through a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust. CSULB joins prestigious institutions such as Ohio State University, University of Michigan, Montclair State University, and Penn State University in receiving this grant.

Students from the Interior Design program designed and oversaw the remodel of a university corridor in the Academic Services building.

CSULB Filmmakers are regularly among the top prize winners at the annual CSU Media Awards.

New Designations and Donations

The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music was named for a Long Beach music lover and businessman who donated $16.4 million dollars to the program to fund scholarships. That gift is the largest in CSULB history.

In 2012 the CSULB Department of Art officially became the CSULB School of Art in recognition of its size, stature and importance within the local and national arts community, and its ever deepening complexity and quality.

In 2012 the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music announced the creation of the Beau and Jo France Graduate Jazz Studies Scholarship Endowment, funded in perpetuity by a generous gift from Joanne France, a longtime friend and supporter of the CSULB College of the Arts.

The CSULB College of the Arts receives more than $1 million each year in support of the programs and scholarships offered within the college.

Events, Performances, Exhibitions

The CSULB College of the Arts – its programs, departments, organizations and activities – brings more than 225,000 patrons to COTA venues each year. Arts events at CSULB bring more community members, students, alumni and university employees to the campus than any other non-classroom experience.

CSULB has five individual art galleries devoted to the exhibition of student work.  The galleries are in the Art Department courtyard, located just east of the CSULB south campus quad. New exhibits go up every Sunday evening during the semester, meaning more than 150 student exhibitions are mounted each year. Admission is free and the galleries are open from noon-5pm Monday-Thursday.

More than 200 events take place at Carpenter Center each year, attracting more than 150,000 patrons. In addition to the Carpenter Center’s 2013-14 season of 26 performing arts companies and artists in 32 performances, the theatre also is home to performances by campus departments, community groups, and our resident company, Musical Theatre West.

Sample Alumni Successes

Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark), David Twohy (Pitch Black, The Fugitive, Terminal Velocity), and Mark Steven Johnson (Grumpy Old Men, Daredevil, Ghost Rider) are among the Hollywood writer/director/producers to graduate from the CSULB Film and Electronic Arts department.

Two time Oscar winner Karen Baker Landers was honored in May 2014 as COTA’s distinguished alumnus for 2013-2014.

Tony Baxter is currently Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering, and is responsible for overall creative direction for the Disneyland Resort.

Art alumnus Adonna Khare won the top award at ArtPrize 2012, a national competition that comes with a $200,000 purse for the winner.