CSU Summer Arts: A Cultural Beat in the Heart of California

(June 20, 2002) Put down the passport. Forget the anxiety of long airport lines. Californians need travel no farther than the heartland of their own state to find a summer experience rich in music, theatre, dance, literary and visual arts.

California State University's Summer Arts—for years one of the Central Valley's best- kept secrets—offers a four-week cultural feast on its Fresno campus. From June 30 to July 27, international artists and distinguished CSU faculty will gather there to perform and teach in a program described as "different from any other…in the world."

Intense two-week long artist/student workshops, up to 14 hours per day, culminate in engaging productions that are open to the public. In addition, artists offer an array of public performances on campus at reasonable admission prices.

Visitors join enthusiastic local audiences on warm summer evenings, enjoying the works in the relaxed atmosphere of the campus' people-friendly theatres and halls.

"For fans of the performing and visual arts," said Summer Arts Director Jim Spalding, "it's a virtual kaleidoscope. Pick any night. Every performance or exhibition has something thrilling for the eye, the ear, the mind."

Among the 120 stellar artists participating in Summer Arts 2002 are Trinidadian steel pan virtuoso Liam Teague, the famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Alexander String Quartet, San Diego's edgy Lower Left dance company, Los Angeles' Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, award-winning novelist and playwright Joyce Carol Thomas, celebrated children's author Pam Munoz Ryan of Bakersfield, sculptors Judy Hill and Clifford Rainey, and the Pandemonium Steel Drum Band from Long Beach.

At least half are true resident artists, decamping each evening to the quarters they share with students in the program. Their late night exchange of ideas about art amounts to a unique bonus for the 450-plus students enrolled in the 17-year-old Summer Arts program.

Open to talented CSU and other students from all over the state, CSU Summer Arts is a multidisciplinary program in which students earn academic credits in creative writing, dance, music, film, video, theatre, performing and visual arts, design, arts education and new technology. For more information about CSU Summer Arts, call (559) 241-6090 or visit www.calstate.edu/summerarts. Box office: (559) 278-5109, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Saturday.

The California State University, the nation's largest system of senior higher education, has 23 campuses, nearly 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since its creation in 1961, it has awarded about two million degrees to job-ready graduates. The CSU's mission is to provide high quality, affordable education, maintaining its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation. See www.calstate.edu.

CSU Summer Arts guest artist performances:

World Percussion Concert 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30 Concert Hall
Liam Teague, "Paganini" of the steel pan, performs.

The Alexander String Quartet 8 p.m. Monday, July 1 Concert Hall
Frederick Lifsitz, violin; Zakarias Grafilo, violin; Paul Yarbrough, viola; Sandy Wilson, cello.

Lower Left Dance Company 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 Dance Studio
Postmodern, non-traditional dancers Nina Martin, Karen Schaffman, Mary Reich, Jane Blount lecture and demonstrate.

Reading 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 Fresno Art Museum
Poet Scott Cairns (The Theology of Doubt) and memoirist Bernard Cooper (Truth Serum) read from their works.

Glass and Sculpture Lecture 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 Conley Hall
Judy Hill exhibits kiln-formed glass and Raku ceramic works.

Musical Theatre Salute 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 Concert Hall
Irish-born soprano Fiona McAndrew, Ovation Award-winner Jason Graae perform memorable tunes from 20th Century musicals.

Lower Left Dance Company 8 p.m. Friday, July 5 Concert Hall
Central Valley premiere of My Hands Are Dirty, company's newest work.

Percussion Concert 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6 Concert Hall
Pandemonium Steel Drum Band and friends beat it.

Dance/Music Concert 7 p.m. Sunday, July 7 Concert Hall
Choreographer Patricia Sandback's Towards Grace, performed by Lower Left dancers, accompanied by Alexander String Quartet.

Glass and Sculpture Lecture 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 8 Conley Hall
Sculptor/conservationist Clifford Rainey discusses his works.

Chamber, Folk and Jazz Concert 8 p.m. Monday, July 8 Wahlberg Hall
Cellist Ed Willett and Vocalist Cheryl Leah comprise Chance, performing hybrid of musical forms.

Animation Lecture 6:30 p.m Tuesday, July 9 Conley Hall
Commercial and animation episode director Mike Wellins (The Land of Abusement).

Lower Left Dance Company 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 Concert Hall
Group performs Available Space.

Glass and Sculpture Lecture 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 Conley Hall
Australia's Warren Langley discusses his widely exhibited glass sculpture.

Alexander String Quartet And Friends 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 Concert Hall
Quartet teams up with string faculty of Staatliche Hochschule für Music in Germany.

Poetry Reading 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 Wahlberg Hall
Poets Mike Doty (Atlantis) and Beckian Fritz Goldberg (Never Be the Horse).

Animation Lecture 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11 Conley Hall
Animator Andrew Gordon of Pixar, lead animator on Billy Crystal's character in Monsters, Inc.

Dance Collective 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14 John Wright Theatre
Risa Steinberg, Colin Connor, Andy Monroe, Alan Terricciano, Debra Noble.

Photography Lecture 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 Conley Hall
Nature photographer and author George Lepp, using latest in digital presentation equipment.

Children's Reading 7 p.m. Monday, July 15 African American Museum
Poet/novelist Joyce Carol Thomas (Crowning Glory), National Book Award winner.

Film and Lecture 8 p.m. Monday, July 15 Education 172
Screening of film by husband/wife feature filmmakers Nachiket and Jayoo Patwardhan.

Children's Reading 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 Fresno Art Museum
Children's author Charles van Sandwyk reads from The Painter Mouse & the Countryside.

Children's Reading 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 17 Arte Americas
Bakersfield native Pam Munoz Ryan (Esparanza Rising) shares stories of wonder.

Film and Lecture 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 17 Conley Hall
The Patwardhans screen and discuss feature film.

Architecture Lecture 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18 Conley Hall
Architect Tim White on "Travel Drawing: Engaging the Spirit of Place." Connie Covert Vocals 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18 Wahlberg Hall Opera singer, accompanied by pianist Matt Horton.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 19 Wahlberg Hall
Film clips, plus open audience discussion moderated by Steppenwolf co-founder Jeff Perry.

Steppenwolf Reader's Theatre 8 p.m. Friday, July 19 John Wright Theatre
Jeff Perry, John Mayer and ensemble give concert reading from William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life.

Children's Storytelling 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20 Petunia's Place
"Stories from Far and Near," read by Summer Arts storyteller's workshop students.

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 8 p.m. Saturday, July 20 Tower Theatre
Bassist John Clayton and brother, reed player Jeff Clayton, with drummer Jeff Hamilton lead celebrated jazz orchestra.

Photography Lecture 7 p.m. Sunday, July 21 Conley Hall
Widely traveled photographer Larry Michael lectures on "Abstracts and Patterns in Nature."

Architectural Lighting Lecture 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 22 Conley Hall
Gary Steffy brings international experience to lecture on lighting design.

Film and Lecture 8 p.m. Monday, July 22 Education 172
Filmmaker James Chressanthis (Hexed, Urban Legend, Public Enemy #2) screens feature.

Architectural Lighting Lecture 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 Conley Hall
Designer Leslie Davis discusses lighting applications gone awry.

Children's Storytelling 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 Fig Garden Regional Library
"Books Before Bedtime," read by Summer Arts storyteller's workshop students.

Jimmy Heath/ Billy Childs Trio Concert 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 Concert Hall
Saxophonist/composer Heath joins pianist Billy Childs, bassist John Clayton and drummer Ferenc Nemeth in evening of jazz music making.

Children's Reading7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 Wahlberg Hall
Fantasy/sci fi author Bruce Coville (Operation Sherlock) reads from his work.

Makeup Demo and Lecture 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 Conley Hall
The art of makeup, discussed by Emmy-nominated makeup effects artist Michael Burnett.

Architectural Lighting Lecture 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25 Conley Hall
Lighting designer Frank Neidhardt, whose line features more than 40 fixtures.

Artist/Student Workshop Culminations:

Chamber Music 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11 Concert Hall
Works from classical and chamber composers, with the Alexander String Quartet.

Music and Movement 1 p.m. Friday, July 12 UC 200
Students join artists J. Timothy Caldwell and Chance.

Glass and Sculpture 2 p.m. Friday, July 12 Conley Gallery
Exhibit of visual art fusing glass and other materials, with artists Judy Hill, Warren Langley and Clifford Rainey.

Computer Imaging and Animation 2 p.m. Friday, July 12 Conley Hall
Short animation projects. Guest artists: Chris Ficken, Andrew Gordon, Randy Wall, Rob Warner, Mike Wellins.

Hot House Dance 3 p.m. Friday, July 12 Concert Hall
Adventurous student dance creations, with Lower Left Company.

Disoriented Word 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 12 Education 172
Creative writing produced by students working with writers Scott Cairns, Bernard Cooper, Mark Doty and Beckian Fritz Goldberg.

Scenery Automation/Musical Theatre 7 p.m. Friday, July 12 John Wright Theatre
Scenery automation students create scenery for performance by musical theatre workshop students. Guest artists: Jason Graae, Thomas de Mallet Burgess, Fiona McAndrew, Lynne Plowman, Ralph Funicello, Jay O. Glerum. Jon Lagerquist, Fritz Schwentker.

Percussion in World Music 8 p.m. Friday, July 12 Satellite Student Union
West African drumming, folkloric and popular Cuban music, Brazilian samba, Caribbean Steelband. Guest artists: Ray Holman, the Ladzekpo Drum Dance Society, Mark Lamson, Pandemonium Steel Drum Band, Michael Spiro, Liam Teague.

Steppenwolf, Part One 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25 Arena Theatre
Selected scenes from Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead, and improvisational work. With artists Sheldon Patinkin, Jeff Perry and Kim Rubinstein.

Prosthetic Makeup Noon Friday, July 26 John Wright Theatre Lobby
An exhibit of three-dimensional makeup projects, plus a demo of works in progress. Guest artist: Michael Burnett.

Storytelling and Cultures of Childhood 1 p.m. Friday, July 26 UC200
Student storytellers read selections and student writers present created works. Guest artists: Connie Covert, Annie Dennis, Joyce Hesselgrave, Amelie Hunter, Charles van Sandwyk, Bruce Coville, Paula Danziger, Harry Mazer, Tamora Pierce, Pam Munoz Ryan, Joyce Carol Thomas, Janet Wong.

Digital Film, Photography and Rapid Viz 2 p.m. Friday, July 26 Conley Gallery
Exhibit of student prints and artistic lighting. George Lepp, Larry Michael, Leslie Davis, Frank Neidhardt, Gary Steffy and Tim White are guest artists.

Dance 3:30 p.m. Friday, July 26 John Wright Theatre
Results of intensive study of ballet, classical and modern dance. Artists for workshop are Colin Connor, Andy Monroe, Risa Steinberg, Alan Terricciano.

35mm Filmmaking 7 p.m. Friday, July 26 Conley Hall
Premiere screenings of footage shot by workshop students, with artists Jeff Mygatt, Jayoo and Nachiket Patwardhan.

Steppenwolf, Part Two 8 p.m. Friday, July 26 Arena Theatre
Wilson's Balm in Gilead.

Jazz 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 26 Concert Hall
Summer Arts' own jazz orchestra, with students from jazz workshop. Artists: Billy Childs, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Paul DeCastro, Jimmy Heath, Ron McCurdy, Ferenc Nemeth, Anthony Wilson.

Contacts: Brenda Roberts, (323) 291-1796 BR1ink@aol.com
Clara Potes-Fellow, (562) 951-4806 cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

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Last Updated: 1 July 2002

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