CSU Summer Arts Ends 2008 Season On High Notes

 

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(September 29, 2008) – The numbers are impressive for the 2008 edition of California State University Summer Arts, hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Fresno.

  • 2 - Venues for programs: Fresno, CA and Florence, Italy
  • 518 - Class seats filled (highest in Summer Arts 23-year history)
  • 7 - Nations represented by students and guest artists: Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and the United States
  • 15 years old - Youngest student enrolled
  • 80 years old - Oldest student enrolled
  • 23 - Public performances by CSU Arts faculty during four-week program
  • 17 - Public performances by Summer Arts students
  • 6,500 - Estimated attendance at public performances and student culminations

Success for CSU Summer Arts isn't measured in numbers alone. More important is the experience students gain by working intensively with top creative people for two weeks to improve their own abilities and to help make contacts that can advance their careers. Student Elspeth Samuel from South Wales, UK, wrote of her experience in the performance poetry workshop, "(CSU Summer Arts) was an amazing opportunity to work and learn with leading practitioners and poets in the USA. The environment was very encouraging and critically constructive - making us face our insecurities and helping us grow as performers and people."

Faculty members are also enhanced by their experiences. Doug Rice of California State University, Sacramento, who coordinated the course on memoir wrote, "This one (Summer Arts) changed my life. It transformed me. I am not certain how it has done this . . . but I know my art will change because of this, my teaching will change, and my being in the world will be different now that I have been here these two weeks."

The community gets the opportunity to watch performances and presentations by the guest artists and event culminations by students, which inspired Les D. Chin to declare, "It's amazing when you see the students perform. At the end of two weeks, and with guidance from the expert faculty, it's as if they have performed together for years."

This year's CSU Summer Arts began in June with a three-week drawing and painting class in Florence. Throughout July, the program was hosted on the CSU, Fresno campus featuring a wide artistic range of courses: music (guitar, gospel, composition), dance, painting and drawing, photography, poetry performance, short film, acting, theatre, clown work, glass blowing, writing.

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