CSU Summer Arts says goodbye to Fresno and director Jim Spalding

Prestigious program moves to campus in 2012

California State University, Monterey Bay is the new home of CSU Summer Arts.

Starting this summer, the annual month-long program offering academic credit plus a festival in the visual, performing, literary and new media arts, will be held at CSU Monterey Bay. It will be hosted by the Seaside campus for at least five years.

"This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the breadth and quality of our arts programs," President Dianne Harrison said. "Summer Arts will offer unprecedented opportunities for our students and our communities."

Contemporary painting is also offered this summerIn April 2011, a committee of arts faculty members from throughout the CSU visited four campuses in the running to host the program. Fresno State, which has housed the program for the last 13 years, was considered, along with San Francisco State and Chico State.

CSUMB was selected for several reasons, said Summer Arts Director Jim Spalding.

“CSUMB’s arts programs are blossoming and that’s a good environment for Summer Arts,” Spalding said. He added that the committee was impressed with the university's connection to and support from its surrounding communities.

“And the location is great," Spalding said. "I think our program works well in a smaller, community setting like this.”

The academic component offers two sessions of two-week courses for students and professionals in creative writing, dance, music, film, video, theater, visual arts, design and new technology. Local high school, community college and university students, as well as international students, study with guest artists in intensive workshops and master classes. Students earn academic credit for their work.

The other component of Summer Arts is a festival, open to the public. World-renowned guest artists offer performances, exhibits, concerts and lectures at affordable ticket prices. Guest artists have included The Second City, New York New Music Ensemble, Bebe Miller Dance Company, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Henson and the Muppets, San Francisco Mime Troupe and Edward Albee. Among artists scheduled to teach this summer at Fresno State are the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet and Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Under the direction of Professor Renee Curry, CSU Monterey Bay submitted a proposal in December 2010, after a year of working with various campus departments and community partners to secure their support

“I can’t tell you how exciting this is for us,” Dr. Curry said. “Local students will have premier summer opportunities to work in the arts with international artists. And students from around the state and beyond will also come to campus to take advantage of this opportunity."

Summer Arts started 26 years ago and has been located at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Humboldt State, CSU Long Beach and Fresno State.

For more information, including a schedule of this year’s events, click here.