CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Arts

Hear My Song

By Madeline Dow
Alumna of San Francisco State
Mother of Humboldt State and CSU East Bay Alumni
 

Update: Travis McKinley Dow Memorial Scholarship information and application available through the Humboldt Area Foundation. The scholarship supports students bound for Humboldt State University pursuing Theatre, Film, Art or Dance.

Travis Dow playing the guitar.

Travis Dow

On some level, as parents we hope our child’s life will reflect the values and interests we share with them. Losing a child reverses this desire. The parent now carries the legacy, building on the passions of the child. In my case, after losing my son, Travis, to cancer on his 41st birthday, I‘ve been left with the golden legacy of his music. 

In the midst of my grief, I have come to believe that he would want me to keep his great life passions alive: his love of music, performance, nature and adventure. Humboldt State embodied these passions. More …

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From Clarinet to College

By Rudy Silva
CSU Long Beach student

Silva shares his story with the CSU Board of Trustees during their January meeting. His speech acknowledges Bob Cole, whose generosity continues to support music instruction and student scholarships at CSU Long Beach.

Silva shares his story with the CSU Board of Trustees during their January meeting. His speech acknowledges Bob Cole, whose generosity continues to support music instruction and student scholarships at CSU Long Beach.

As a kid from Indio, it was impossible to realize that the clarinet would be my path to Cal State Long Beach.

At the urging of a church friend, I somewhat reluctantly decided to explore the band program in middle school.  The clarinet was my choice for a simple reason: I was able to get a decent sound out of it on the first try.  With no musicians in the family, that note – if it could be called an actual note – opened up an entire world.  I went from dancing with the radio to quickly advancing through music books.  In fact, my teacher would not believe me at first when I told her I was ready for new material.

I continued making music throughout high school with the marching band, jazz band, district honor band, and community orchestra.  I even found myself as drum major in my junior year of high school.  With all that, I never thought of my future in music until my band teacher asked me, “Are you going to be an artist or a band director?” as we worked on a prop for a performance.  The potential that he saw in me made the next step seem possible. More …

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Full of Possibility

Photos and captions by Erik Fallis,
Edwin Lockwood and CSU Fullerton

Vaughncille Joseph Meng Concert Hall

“I love empty theatres because they are so full of possibility,” said Joseph Arnold, dean of the College of Arts at CSU Fullerton.

The entire world may be a stage.  However, many actors, musicians, dancers, directors and designers experience moments when other considerations fall away and the stage becomes their whole world.  Those moments leave a lasting impression, something Arnold reflects on as he leads a tour through the CSUF Clayes Performing Arts Center. More …

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A Little Otter than Before

Photos and captions by
Brad Polzin and Erik Fallis

Throughout the month of July, CSU Monterey Bay hosts hundreds of young and aspiring artists, university faculty and accomplished art professionals from throughout the state.  The campus becomes a setting for exploration of students’ talents, artistic risk-taking, sharing of experiences, peer collaboration and professional constructive criticism.  All of this excitement occurs under the banner of CSU Summer Arts, the university system’s intensive and immersive arts program.

CSU Summer Arts is truly a little otter than before.  The program fully embraces their new home campus and its rather adorable mascot.  Several otter appearances punctuate the summer, including a costume for Zac — the son of CSU Summer Arts Office Manager Kelley Lansing-Moreno.

CSU Summer Arts is truly a little otter than before. The program fully embraces their new home campus and its rather adorable mascot. Several otter appearances punctuate the summer, including a costume for Zac — the son of CSU Summer Arts Office Manager Kelley Lansing-Moreno.

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Setting the Stage

By Nathan Stark
CSU Long Beach Alumnus

CSU Long Beach alumnus Nathan Stark has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the U.S., Europe and China. Praised by the Washington Post as having a voice of "unearthly power," the bass vocalist recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

One of the most entertaining aspects of my career is watching the different types of reactions I get from people when I tell them that I’m an opera singer. It’s a unique profession, one with great risks, uncertainties, and dauntless hours of studying music scores and foreign languages—but it’s also one with great fulfillment, constant learning, adventure and high art.

People seem even more fascinated when I explain to them that I make my living singing opera.

It’s more than just a hobby for me or something I do on the side—it’s how I make a living, how I pay my bills and how I support myself. Is it challenging? Absolutely. But I’m drawn to the stage. I draw to music like a doctor is drawn to curing patients or a lawyer drawn to pleading a case in court. It’s what I do best.

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Emmy Shout-Out

By Brent Steinberg
CSU Fullerton Alumnus

Steinberg with his Emmy, following the September 2011 awards ceremony

Steinberg with his Emmy, following the September 2011 awards ceremony

Brent Steinberg received an Emmy for “Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special” in 2011.  Credited as CGI (computer-generated image) Artist, Steinberg received the award as a member of a nine-person team that completed special effects for the History Channel’s “Gettysburg.”  

None of it would have been possible without CSU Fullerton – particularly professors Grieb, Kennan, Hill and Lamb.  

Here is the story.  After coming from a community college, I transferred to Cal State, still lost and searching for “what I wanted to do when I grew up.”  One semester into failed attempt at an economics major, and after one accounting class, the reality set in that it was not the field for me.  Only when I started looking to jump to an art program — originally illustration — did I find out that CSUF offered animation.  Fate has an interesting way I suppose, since not many universities had that program, and animation had been a lifelong passion I never expected to take with me into adulthood.  Following my passion, I made the jump and never looked back. More …

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An Animated Learning Environment

By Andrew Gordon
Pixar Animation Studios

Andrew Gordon stands with characters James P. "Sulley" Sullivan and Mike Wazowski of "Monsters, Inc" © Disney 2001

Andrew Gordon stands with characters James P. "Sulley" Sullivan and Mike Wazowski of "Monsters, Inc" © Disney 2001

Creative energy was enough to draw me across the United States at the age of 18, much to my parents’ disbelief. 

My first solo trip away from home in New Jersey was to CSU Summer Arts, which was held at Humboldt State that year.  Artists that I had only read about were going to be teaching there.  It was truly a chance to learn from the best in the field.  And I learned a great deal.

At CSU Summer Arts, I made The Vaccine, my first completed animated film.  The instant feedback and support I received from instructors and guest artists combined with the intensity of putting a film together to produce one of the defining moments of my life. More …

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A Little Magic

By Michele Gendreau
Director of Food and Beverage
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Alumna of Cal Poly Pomona

Gendreau is recognized as the Cal Poly Pomona 2011 Distinguished Alumna of the Year

If you work in a magical kingdom, you begin to see a little magic in everything. I certainly see the magic in food. Food grows and sustains life. It can be combined in tremendous ways. To great chefs, food is a work of art – a masterpiece to be devoured.

“Where Dreams Come True” is the Disney motto, and my job is an absolute dream for a foodie.

I enhance the natural magic in food to give it an extra kick. Whether it’s the Mickey shaped beignets or an R2-D2 shaped popcorn bucket, the Disney team and I seek out ways to enhance the story and magic that brings people to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. It takes an appreciation of the food, the business and the story we are creating to get things just right.

Thinking back to my college experience it was the activities outside the classroom as much as my academic work that prepared me for Disney. Cal Poly Pomona is rich with opportunities to demonstrate leadership and creativity. I literally got my hands dirty working in the university farm growing crops and volunteering in the flower fields for the Cal Poly entry into the Tournament of Roses Parade.
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From Vision to Reality

By Raul R. Rodriguez (’69, Art)
1993 CSU Long Beach Distinguished Alumnus
College of the Arts

A Rain Bird® float by Raul R. Rodriguez takes shape behind the designer.

A Rain Bird® float by Raul R. Rodriguez takes shape behind the designer.

Note: Raul is featured in the “Working for California” project.  He is an award-winning and internationally recognized designer who has created hundreds of floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade.  Each year, float designs by Raul are brought to life by float builders, and thousands of workers and volunteers, to be shared with millions of people across the United States and abroad. 

It is a blessing to be able to capture a vision in my mind and then express that vision on paper.  I’m even more fortunate to see that design translated into a float, a building façade or an architectural detail.  It is thrilling to look at the final product and know that I was the first person to visualize this concept, which now has a physical presence.

I design many things for a living.  Some of my designs are whimsical, serious or simply gorgeous.  While designing, I look for inspiration wherever I can with nature being one of my favorite sources.  I believe that few designs are entirely new, yet the art comes from the perspective of the individual with a different way of looking at everyday things. More …

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Seeking Future Outstanding Alumni

February is an exciting month for the CSU.  University trustees, the chancellor, presidents, administrators, faculty and staff will speak at CSU Super Sunday events at more than 100 predominantly African American churches throughout the state.  The events reach more than 100,000 churchgoers and are part of CSU’s outreach to educate students and families about the requirements to successfully enter college and obtain a degree.

As the CSU talks to potential students, it is critical to be able to point to those who have graduated and excelled in life.  CSU speakers and outreach staff will distribute a flyer showing more than 70 African American distinguished alumni.  Below are just a few examples of these leaders and role models.

Distinguished for Philanthropic Magic

Towalame Austin (CSU Dominguez Hills '04) is president of the Magic Johnson Foundation, one of the leading philanthropic organizations in the nation.  Among her many accomplishments is launching a highly successful World AIDS Day campaign, 'I Stand with Magic,' in 2006 that tested over 1,300 at-risk individuals for HIV/AIDS.

Towalame Austin (CSU Dominguez Hills '04) is president of the Magic Johnson Foundation, one of the leading philanthropic organizations in the nation. Among her many accomplishments is launching a highly successful World AIDS Day campaign, 'I Stand with Magic,' in 2006 that tested over 1,300 at-risk individuals for HIV/AIDS.

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