Introduction - California Institute of the Arts
The nation's first art institute to offer BFAs and MFAs in both the visual and performing arts, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is dedicated to training and nurturing the next generation of professional artists, fostering brilliance and innovation within the broadest context possible. Emphasis is placed on new and experimental work and students are admitted solely on the basis of artistic ability. To encourage innovation and experimentation, CalArts' six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater--are all housed under one roof in a unique, five-story building with the equivalent of 11 acres of square footage in Valencia, California, just 30 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles.
CalArts is the first institution of higher education in the United States to have offered undergraduate and graduate degrees in both visual and performing arts. It was established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney through the merger of two professional schools: the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, founded in 1883, and the Chouinard Art Institute, founded in 1921. CalArts moved to its permanent home in Valencia in 1971 and added degree programs in dance, film and theater to those in art and music. A graduate writing program was subsequently created in 1994.
The original vision for CalArts was to bring different art forms together and allow them to commingle and cross-pollinate in an intense, free-spirited environment - a laboratory for the arts. Now more than ever, CalArts stands by this vision. The instruction and curriculum calls for the highest standards when it comes to the enduring forms and traditions of each discipline; and yet vigorously encourages experimental work that challenges boundaries in both form and content.
Established in 2003, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater is CalArts center for innovative visual, performing and media arts in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Housed as a separate entity in the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall complex, REDCAT provides a unique platform for experimental and interdisciplinary work in music, dance, theater, art, film/video and literature and a new laboratory and gathering place for students, professional artists and audiences throughout the Los Angeles area.
The professional staff at REDCAT cast their net locally, nationally and internationally to identify new voices and visions across the arts. In addition, REDCAT hosts work produced within the professional research and production arms of CalArts such as the Center for New Performance and the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology.
REDCAT, together with a range of special programs and initiatives and the annual Alpert Awards in the Arts, marks the most thoroughgoing attempt of any college in the United States to place the education of artists in a mutually strengthening ecology that links campus, community and the broader world.
For more information go to www.calarts.edu.
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