Summer Arts at CSU Monterey Bay, June 24, 2013

Weekly Update, June 24, 2013, Part 1

By Rob Klevan

Those of us who are lucky enough to call the Monterey Bay area home are well aware of the many cultural and artistic events available to us. We can now add one more spectacular arts and cultural event to our own backyard. In the summer of 2012, CSU Summer Arts, a well-established arts education and entertainment program that began in 1985 as a supplement to arts courses offered during the regular school year, made the Monterey area its new home in the first of a guaranteed five-year residency at CSU Monterey Bay.

After a thirteen-year stint at Fresno State, CSU Summer Arts packed its bags and moved to the campus of CSUMB. What a coup for the local arts scene, not just because of the intensive workshops that are offered in fields such as music, dance, theater, photography, sculpture, painting, film-making, sound design, and digital media/animation, but because each of these courses brings to our area some world-renown guest artists who will present over 50 public events throughout the month of July. These artists are without question some of the leaders in their field and this year include Academy Award, Emmy Award, Tony Award, NEA Award, and Guggenheim Award recipients and nominees.

I first became aware of CSU Summer Arts as a music teacher in a local private high school. Annually, I would receive the Summer Arts course flyer along with the other multitude of summer camp bulk mail left in my box in the faculty lounge. Summer Arts courses looked very interesting to say the least, and I would faithfully post the flyer in the band room in case one or more of my charges might want to further explore the possibility of participating. As far as I know, none did.

Looking back now and knowing what I know of the Summer Arts program, I might have been a bit more forceful in encouraging my students to apply. In a word, the program is just plain fantastic! I may be a bit biased as I now work for CSU Summer Arts (Community Relations Specialist), but nothing can prejudice my appreciation for the exceptional, which is the best way to describe Summer Arts. From the workshops to the artist lectures, demonstrations, concert and/or theatrical performances, Summer Arts is remarkable. I witnessed it last summer, and I know it will be the same this July.

Course enrollment for 2013 is at capacity, so unfortunately there is no more classroom space available for those interested in participating and earning college credits. However, the events that will take place nearly every night in July at either the World Theater or Tanimura and Antle Library on the CSUMB campus are open to the public, and I would encourage anyone interested to attend. I went to most of the events offered in 2012 and was amazed at what I observed. The lectures were incredibly informative, the demonstrations thrilling, and the theatrical productions and dance and music concerts were nothing short of spectacular.

Highlights to look for in 2013 include performances/lectures by PUSH Physical Theatre (July 1), classical guitarist Eliot Fisk—a student of Andres Segovia and a Grammy nominee (July 6), “An Evening with Steinbeck” with members of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (July 9), Academy Award winning screenwriter Tom Schulman (Dead Poets Society (July 11), Grammy Award winning saxophonist Eric Marienthal (July 12), photographer John Sexton (July 16), author Nick Flynn—writer of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City which became the film version Being Flynn starring Robert De Niro (July 18), childrens’ fantasy book writer Bruce Coville (July 18), Gala Flute Concert featuring flutist Carol Wincenc from the Juilliard School of Music (July 19), National Geographic photographer Nevada Wier (July 22), and the New York cast production of Tribes, hailed by the New York Times as a “smart, lively and beautifully acted new play…” (July 24). Of course, there will be a few surprises, and the Student Culmination performances on July 13, 26, and 27 are always top-notch and well worth attending. For more information about these and other Summer Arts July events, please check the CSU Summer Arts website; www.csusummerarts.org.

Dr. Rob Klevan, Community Relations Specialist, CSU Summer Arts. rklevan@calstate.edu