Long Beach State University has long been a tremendous resource for those who wish to experience art, dance, design, film, music, theater and more.
It certainly helps that our College of the Arts faculty and alumni have a worldwide reputation for their creativity, scholarship, teaching and professional accomplishments. Moreover, renowned facilities such as the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center and the University Art Museum allow our communities unmatched cultural opportunities in a place of learning.
While the campus’s primary purpose is the education of its students, the arts allow us to extend our reach to neighbors. In any given academic year, Long Beach State provides numerous chances for community members to attend live performances, recitals and lectures; exhibitions; classes; and cultural experiences like the annual Pow Wow and the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.
These events provide opportunities to bring people to campus, as well as for our faculty, students and visiting artists to share their talents with the community. The following information, as well as other insights into the arts on our campus, can be found at the College of Arts’ web site (www.csulb.edu/college-of-the-arts). A brief list of these efforts includes:
ArtsBridge — The College of the Arts provides arts education/outreach programs throughout Long Beach. The program provides multi-visit, hands-on instruction in a variety of art forms to elementary school students and their teachers.
Arts for Life — The Carpenter Performing Arts Center’s Arts for Life initiative is a comprehensive education program providing interactive, wide-ranging, hands-on arts activities for all ages. It encompasses three areas: Classroom Connections (elementary schools), Campus Connections (for Long Beach State faculty and students) and Community Connections (the Long Beach community).
Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, Explorations Day — The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music hosts an annual Explorations Day, which allows area high school students to experience “a day in the life of a Long Beach State music major.” Explorations Day typically takes place in conjunction with the annual High School Honor Band, Choir and Orchestra festival. Notably, the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music regularly sends students and small ensembles out into the community for visits and short performances in senior residential facilities and nursing homes.
University Art Museum, Plugged In: Classroom Outreach — University Art Museum Education has developed Plugged-In: Classroom Outreach programs for fourth grade students, which align with state and national standards in the areas of visual arts, social studies, language arts and math. The program introduces students to current exhibitions, elements and principles of art, and contextual background, while connecting to fourth grade subject matter. The program also includes a field trip to the UAM, where students tour the museum, participate in activities to increase engagement with the exhibition, and experience the dynamic environment of the Long Beach State campus.
Additionally, the UAM offers docent-led tours of current exhibitions and campus sculpture for K-12 classrooms. All tours are free of charge and can be adapted to classroom curriculum and schedule. The recent exhibition, “Call and Response: We Say…Then You Say,” was seen by hundreds of school children from the Long Beach Unified School District. The experience gave students an opportunity to witness how “high art” and pop culture intersect.
I am proud to say that events and programs benefiting our communities happen nearly every day at The Beach. While our mission is student-serving, we acknowledge the special role our campus plays in the community-at-large. We recognize that the many artistic, educational and cultural experiences offered here play an important role in enriching the lives of our neighbors.
Dr. Jane Close Conoley has been president of Long Beach State University since 2014.