The California Institute of the Arts , known by its nickname CalArts , is a private university located in Valencia , California . It was incorporated in 1961 as the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for the visual arts and performing arts . It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts , Master of Fine Arts , Master of Arts , and Doctor of Musical Arts among six schools: Art; Critical Studies; Dance; Film / Video; Music; and Theater. 
The school was first introduced by many benefactors in the early 1960s, staffed by a diverse array of professionals (including Nelbert Murphy Chouinard , founder of the Chouinard Art Institute , Walt Disney , Lulu Von Hagen, Thornton Ladd and others).  CalArts provides a collaborative environment for a diversity of artists. Students are free to develop their own work in a workshop atmosphere.
As of 2017, the school has a 27.5% acceptance rate.  US News & World Report ranked CalArts in a tie with the New York State College of Ceramics for the 9th best fine arts program in the United States. 
CalArts was originally formed in 1961, as a merger of the Chouinard Art Institute (founded 1921) and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (founded 1883).  Both of the formerly established institutions were going through financial difficulties around the same time, and the founder of the Art Institute, Nelbert Chouinard, was also fatally ill. The professional relationship between Madame Chouinard and Walt Disney began in 1929 when Disney had no money and Madame Chouinard agreed to train Disney’s first animators on a pay-later basis. It was the vision of Disney, who discovered and trained many of his artists at Chouinard (including Mary Blair , Maurice Noble and some of the Nine Old Men, among others), that the merger of the two institutions was coordinated; the process continued after-His death in 1966.  Joining _him_ Were His brother Roy O. Disney , Lulu Von Hagen and Thornton Ladd (Ladd & Kelsey Architects), of the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. In 1965, the Alumni Association was founded as a nonprofit organization and was appointed by the 12-member board of directors to serve the best interests of the institute and its programs. Members included leading professional artists and musicians, who contributed their knowledge, experience and skill to strengthen the institute. The 12 founding boards of directors were Mary Costa , Edith Head , Gale Storm , Marc Davis, Tony Duquette , Harold Grieve , John Hench , Chuck Jones , Henry Mancini , Marty Paich , Nelson Riddle and Millard Sheets .
The ground-breaking for CalArts’ current campus took place May 3, 1969. However, construction of the new campus was hampered by torrential rains, labor troubles and the earthquake in 1971 . CalArts moved to its present campus in the Valencia section of the city of Santa Clarita, California in November 1971. From the beginning, CalArts was plagued by the tensions between its art and trade school functions as well as the non-commercial aspirations of the faculty and faculty and the conservative interests of the Disney family and trustees. The founding board of trustees originally planned on creating a school in an entertainment complex, a destination like Disneyland, and a feeder school for the industry. Such a model is exemplified in the 1941 Disney movie The Reluctant Dragon . In an ironic turn of fate, they appointed Dr. Robert W. Corrigan as the first president of the Institute.
Corrigan, educating dean of the School of Arts at New York University fired almost all the artists and teachers of Chouinard in his attempt to remake CalArts into his personal vision. Herbert Blau was hired as the Institute’s provost and dean of the School of Theater and Dance. Subsequently, Blau was instrumental in hiring a number of professionals Mel Powell(dean of the School of Music), Paul Brach (dean of the School of Art), Alexander Mackendrick (dean of the School of Film / Video), sociologist Maurice R Stein (Dean of Critical Studies) and Richard Farson(dean of the School of Design, now integrated in the Art school as the Graphic Design Program), as well as other influential program heads and teachers Such As Stephan von Huene, Allan Kaprow , Bella Lewitzky , Michael Asher , Jules Engel , John Baldessari , Judy Chicago , Ravi Shankar , Max Kozloff , Miriam Schapiro , Douglas Huebler , Morton Subotnick , Norman M. Klein and Nam June Paik MOST of Whom Largely cam from a counterculture and vanguardside of the art world. The basic principles established by the Institute of Correlation and Correlation of Correlation, and that of a curriculum that should be cyclical rather than sequential, returning to regular principles, and that “we’re a community of artists here, some of us called faculty and some called students. ” 
Corrigan held his position until 1972, when he was replaced by William S. Lund, a Disney son-in-law. Within a month of Lund’s tenure as president, 55 of CalArts’ 325 faculty and staff were fired. Structured schedules were introduced. Classes were trimmed back and forth, and the Institute was operating on budget. Some credit Lund with saving CalArts. Others see his tenure as the end of an idealistic experiment.  In 1975, Robert J. Fitzpatrickwas appointed new president of CalArts. Holding this position for 12 years, in 1987 Fitzpatrick resigned as president Euro Disney in Paris. Nicholas England, former Dean of the School of Music, was appointed acting president. One year later, Steven Lavine, associate director for arts and humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation, was named new president.
On June 24, 2015 Steven D. Lavine announced he would step down as President of the California Institute of the Arts in May 2017, after an unprecedented 29-year tenure.  Concluding a search with over 500 candidates, the CalArts Board of Directors announced on December 13, 2016 that Ravi S. Rajan,  Dean of the School of the Arts at the State University of New York at Purchase was unanimously elected as President, to begin in June 2017. 
Beginning in the summer of 1987, CalArts became the host of the state-funded California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) program. It began as a high school student in the fields of animation , creative writing , dance , film and video , music , theater arts , and visual arts . CalArts expanded on the concept by Community Arts Partnershipin 1990. While CSSSA is open to qualifying California students, the CAP, as it is commonly known, is a service provided to students living within the Los Angeles County school system. Many CalArts faculty and students mentor the high school students in both programs.
In 1994, Herb Alpert , a professional musician and admirer of the Institute, established the Alpert Awards in the Arts in collaboration with CalArts and his nonprofit the Herb Alpert Foundation. School of art, theater, dance, and music in the field of visual arts, theater, dance, and music in their fields of art . Recipients of this award are required to stay for a week at the CalArts and Mentor students studying their craft. In 2008, CalArts renamed the School of Music in his name, courtesy of a $ 15 million donation.
Over the years, the school has developed on-campus, interdisciplinary laboratories, such as the Center for Experiments in Art, Information, and Technology , Center for Integrated Media , Center for New Performance at CalArts , and the Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts.
CalArts offers degree programs in music , art , dance , film and video , animation , theater , puppetry , and writing . Students receive intensive professional training in the area of their career. Its focus is in interdisciplinary , contemporary art, and the Institute’s stated mission is to develop tomorrow’s artists who will change their field. With these goals in place, the Institute encourages students to recognize the complexity of political, social and aesthetic issues and to respond to them with informed, independent judgment. 
Every school within the Institute requires an audience of an artist , with a portfolio or audition (depending on the program) in order to be considered for admission. The school does not review an applicant’s SAT scores without consent of the applicant, and does not consider an applicant’s GPA as part of the admission process.
In a 2016 interview, design program faculty member Michael Worthington was asked ” What kinds of students do you know about CalArts ? , to which he responds, Energetic, enthusiastic, self-motivated, fast learners, idiosyncratic aesthetes, verbal and visual adventurers, risk takers , those who are smart and vocal with a view of their own work and the work of others. Above all, the students who are committed to design and who are willing to put the time and energy into their own development and learning. ” 
Conception and foundation
The initial concept behind CalArts’ interdisciplinary approach came from Richard Wagner’s idea of Gesamtkunstwerk (“total artwork”), which was later on and explored in a variety of forms, beginning with his own studio, then later in the incorporation of CalArts. He began with the classic Disney movie Fantasia (1940), where animators, dancers, composers, and artists alike collaborated. In 1952, Walt Disney Imagineering was founded, where Disney integrated artists from his studio animation and elsewhere, as well as formally trained engineers and achieved creative critical mass in the development of Disneyland. He believed that the same concept that WDI, could also be applied to a university setting, where art students of different mediums would be exposed to a wide range of creative directions. Disney in his memorial school:
|“||If you keep busy, your work might not be easy. I’ve always used the princes of Serendip , who did not know what they would find. That happens in science; some of our most important discoveries What young people need a school where they can learn a variety of skills, where there is cross-pollination. The remarkable thing that is taking place in almost every field of endeavor is an accelerating rate of dynamic growth and change. The arts, which have historically symbolized the advance of human progress, must match this growth if they are going to maintain their value in and influence on society. The talents of musicians, the self-expression of the actor, and the techniques and applications of fine and commercial artists are more What we must have, then, is a completely new approach to training in the arts-an entirely new educational concept that will ensure the preparation of artists and give them the vital tools so necessary for working in, and drawing from, every field of creativity and performance . I like the workshop idea,with students being able to drop in and learn all kinds of arts. A school should offer a kind of cross-pollination that would develop the best in its students. That’s the direction I would like CalArts to take. It should not be a school where studies are rigid and narrow. Students should be able to study the whole spectrum of the arts. Perhaps a musician would find he is more talented in arts; and vice versa. There is an urgent need for a professional field which will not only provide its students, but will also allow the widest possible range of artistic growth and expression. To meet this need is exactly why California Institute of the Arts has been created, and why we believe so strongly in its importance. Students will be able to take anything – art, drama, music, dance, writing. They ‘ graduate with a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The student body of CalArts should not be over two thousand, and as many as possible should reside on campus. There should be some allowance for those who are talented, yet are not students; they should be able to express themselves without worrying about grades. There will be a lot of scholarships at CalArts. Those who can pay will pay; those who can not get scholarships. We do not want any dilettantes at CalArts. We want people with talent. What will be the one factor in getting into CalArts: talent. It should not be over two thousand, and it should be possible to reside on campus. There should be some allowance for those who are talented, yet are not students; they should be able to express themselves without worrying about grades. There will be a lot of scholarships at CalArts. Those who can pay will pay; those who can not get scholarships. We do not want any dilettantes at CalArts. We want people with talent. What will be the one factor in getting into CalArts: talent. It should not be over two thousand, and it should be possible to reside on campus. There should be some allowance for those who are talented, yet are not students; they should be able to express themselves without worrying about grades. There will be a lot of scholarships at CalArts. Those who can pay will pay; those who can not get scholarships. We do not want any dilettantes at CalArts. We want people with talent. What will be the one factor in getting into CalArts: talent. We want people with talent. What will be the one factor in getting into CalArts: talent. We want people with talent. What will be the one factor in getting into CalArts: talent. It’s the main thing I hope to leave when I move on to greener pastures. If I can help provide a place to develop the talent of the future, I think I will have accomplished something. ||“|
Schools and programs
Schools and degree programs available at CalArts include:
- School of Art : Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Photography and Media, Art and Technology
- School of Critical Studies : MFA Writing, MA in Aesthetics and Politics
- School of Film / Video : Film and Video, Animation Animation, Character Animation (BFA), Film Directing (MFA)
- The Herb Alpert School of Music : DMA Composer-Performer, Composition, Composition for New Media / Experimental Sound Practices (ESP) (MFA), Performer / Composer, Performer / Composer: African American, Improvisational Music (MFA), Music Technology (BFA) and MFA), Performance, Musical Arts (BFA), World Music (BFA and MFA)
- School of Theater : Acting, Directing (MFA), Writing for Performance (MFA), Puppetry (MFA), Design and Production : Costume Design, Lighting Design, Producing (MFA), Stage Management, Production Management (MFA), Scene Design, Sound Design, Video for Performance (MFA), Technical Direction, Scenic Painting, (MFA).
- The Sharon Disney Lund Dance School : Dance (BFA), Choreography (MFA)
Walt Disney Modular Theater
The Walt Disney Modular Theater is an indoor performance space located within the California Institute of the Arts.
Funded by Lillian Disney, who is slowing down to Walt’s venture into education, is a remake of the theater and is re-creating the Walt Disney Modular Theater in 1993. The modular theater is based on a concept suggested by Antonin Artaud , who asserted that the ideal theater could be reconfigured for each and every new performance or play. When Walt Disneyhis Institute of the Arts, he asked for suggestions from the leaders in various artistic fields as to what would be the ideal tools for advancing the study and practice of their medium. One of the overwhelmingly popular suggestions from the theater community has been proposed by Artaud. Disney had the Modular Theater incorporated as the central performance space of his Institute. It was the first of its kind constructed, and remains one of only five in the world.
The main feature of the theater is a segmented floor, divided into 348 4’x4 ‘square platforms, each one mounted on its own independent pneumatic pistons, allowing the floor to be reconfigured into whatever shape is desired. The theater is also composed of segments, so that walls can also be reconfigured, creating a virtual limitless number of possibilities in design. The theater is two stories tall from floor to ceiling-the pneumaticpistons reach another story in the CalArts library, where they are a dominant architectural feature. There are doors of the theater so that the audience can be made to enter from whatever direction the artists choose. The theater can be divided into several parts, the audience can be separated into several sections, and any combination of levels and directions can be used. The theater can also be used in an environmental space, with the audience moving through multiple locations in the race of a show, or being presented with a virtual environment rather than one in which they are separate from the performance.
The Walt Disney Modular Theater is used as a year-round by students and faculty at the CalArts, primarily in the Schools of Theater, Dance, and Music. Though the idea of modular theater Has Fallen out of fashion, in favor of environmental theater and the resurgence of proscenium show theater, the theater remains in use, run by the Technical Management Department, Including Both students and faculty.
It was designed by Fisher Dachs Associates, a collaboration between the Dean of the Theater School, Herbert Blau , Jules Fisher lighting designer , and Thornton Ladd (Ladd & Kelsey, Architects).
A113 is an Easter egg that has been inserted into many animated television shows and feature films as a tribute to a classroom at CalArts.
Roy and Edna Disney CalArts at Walt Disney Concert Hall
In 2003, CalArts established a performance in downtown Los Angeles called REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Center for New Performance, the professional production arm of the CalArts Theater School, brings to work the space of both students and professional artists and musicians.
In fall 2009, the Institute opened on campus music pavilion, known as “Wild Beast”. The 3,200-square-foot (300 m 2 ), free-standing structure serves as a space for classrooms and combines indoor-outdoor performance space. CalArts’ President Steven Lavine has stated, “The core demand is that our Alphabet School of Music has doubled in size in the last decade; when we have guest artists, there is no place for them to perform-And the second reason was to allow enough space for the general audience to wait […] ” 
John Baldessari Art Studio Building
In 2013, CalArts opened its John Baldessari’s Art Studio Building, which cost $ 3.1 million to build 7,000 square feet of space-as much as space for art students and faculty. 
Notable alumni, faculty, and visiting artists
- List of California Institute of the Arts
CalArts confers honorary Doctor of Arts degrees to artists who have consistently represented the bold innovation and visionary creativity championed by the Institute, and who have each made extraordinary contributions to contemporary arts and culture. A list of past honorary degree recipients, include:
- Beverly Sills (1975)
- Roy Lichtenstein (1977)
- Twyla Tharp (1978)
- Gordon Davidson (1980)
- Bella Lewitzky (1981)
- Haskell Wexler (1981)
- Mischa Schneider (1981)
- Henry Mancini (1983)
- Jan de Gaetani (1983)
- Ravi Shankar (1985)
- John Cage (1986)
- Frank O. Gehry (1987)
- Trisha Brown (1988)
- Donn Tatum (1989)
- Luis Valdez (1989)
- Paul Taylor (1989)
- Ornette Coleman (1990)
- Beatrice Manley (1990)
- Lulu May Von Hagen (1990)
- Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (1991)
- Pearl Primus (1991)
- Adrian Piper (1992)
- Ray Bradbury (1992)
- Yvonne Rainer (1993)
- Steven Bochco (1993)
- Stan Brakhage (1994)
- Vija Celmins (1994)
- Betye Saar (1995)
- Carolyn Forche (1995)
- Laurie Anderson (1996)
- Elvin Jones (1996)
- Chantal Akerman (1997)
- Lee Breuer (1998)
- Ed Ruscha (1999)
- Bill Viola (2000)
- Steve Reich (2000)
- Ry Cooder (2001)
- Faith Hubley (2001)
- Bruce Nauman (2001)
- Alice Coltrane (2002)
- Roy E. Disney (2003)
- Anna Halprin (2003)
- Carolee Schneemann (2003)
- Christian Wolff (2004)
- Daniel Nagrin (2004)
- James Newton (2005)
- Harrison “Buzz” Price (2005)
- Julius Shulman (2005)
- Rudy VanderLans (2006)
- Rudy Perez (2006)
- Alonzo King (2007)
- Harry Belafonte (2008)
- Herbert Blau (2008)
- Terry Riley (2008)
- Elizabeth LeCompte (2009)
- Morton Subotnick (2009)
- William M. Lowman (2010)
- Trimpin (2010)
- Annette Bening (2011)
- Donald McKayle (2011)
- Peter Sellars (2012)
- Eric Fischl (2013)
- John Lasseter (2014)
- David Hildebrand Wilson (2015)
- Sheila Levrant de Bretteville(2015)
- Wadada Leo Smith (2016)
- Don Cheadle (2016)
- Steven Lavine (2017)
- Glenn Edgerton (2017)
Critical reception and cultural influence
In 2011, Newsweek / The Daily Beast listed CalArts as the top school for arts-minded students. The ranking is not intended to assess the country’s best art school, but rather to assess campuses that offer an exceptional artistic atmosphere.  
In 1969 During the groundbreaking ceremony of the Valencia campus, as Lillian Disney turned over the first shovel full of soil, director Bob Clampett Stood behind her mugging for the cameras flashing. 
Several students who attended CalArts’ animation programs in the 1970s at Walt Disney Animation Studios , and several of them went on to successful careers at Disney, Pixar , and other animation studios. In March 2014, Vanity Fair magazine highlighted the success of CalArts’ 1970s animation alumni and briefly profiled several (including Jerry Rees , John Lasseter , Tim Burton , John Musker , Brad Bird , Trousdale Gary , Kirk Wise , Henry Selick and Nancy Beiman) In an item illustrated with a group portrait taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz inside classroom A113 . 
In the late eighties, a group of CalArts animated animation animation director Ralph Bakshi . As they were in the process of moving to New York, they persuaded him to stay in Los Angeles to continue to produce adult animation .  Bakshi then got the production rights to the cartoon character Mighty Mouse . By Bakshi’s request, Tom Minton and John Kricfalusi then went to the CalArts campus to recruit the best talent from what was the recent group of graduates. They hired Jeff Pidgeon , Rich Moore , Carol Holiday, Andrew Stanton and Nate Kanfer to work on the newMighty Mouse: The New Adventures television series. 
In an interview, Craig “Spike” Decker of Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation commented on the work of independent animator Don Hertzfeldt stating that Hertzfeldt demonstrated good instincts coupled with his lack of interest in the world of commerce. In making a comparison, Decker made a reference to CalArts stating: “A lot of animators come out of CalArts – they could be so prolific, but then they’re owned by Disney or someone, and they’re painting the ends on the Little Mermaid, you’ll never see their full potential “. 
Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, members of the band Sonic Youth , remarked in an interview with VH1 about the band Liars, of which Andrew Angus and Julian Gross are CalArts luminaries. Moore’s initial remarks were: “There’s this whole world of young people who [think] everything’s allowed.” “It’s really out there.” Gordon then stated “I’m not so crazy about the way [The Liars’ They Were Wrong, So We Drowned] It’s like ‘how do we make it?’ But I think the content is really good. In reference to CalArts and Gordon’s statement, Moore lastly remarked “They’re art kids.” They came out of CalArts and that’s the kind of sensibility you’ve come to expect. 
In the LA Weekly op-ed piece “The Kids Are Not All Right: Is Over-Education Growing Young Artists?”, Published in 2005, Curator Aaron Rosewrote about an observed trend in Los Angeles’ most esteemed art schools and their MFA programs, including CalArts. He uses the example of Supersonic, “a large exhibition […] that features the work of MFA students from esteemed area programs like CalArts, Art Center, UCLA, etc.” In his observation of the showcase he examined, “[…] the work left me empty and with a few exceptions seemed like nothing more than a rehash of conceptual ideas that were mined years ago.” These are the most talented people in the world (Mike Kelley and John Baldessari among them). of making it as an artist. ” He goes on to further state What happens too often in these situations, though, is that we find young artists simply emulating their instructors, rather than finding and honing their own aesthetics and points of view of the world, society, themselves. In the beginnings of an artist’s career, the power in his or her work should be in their technical or knowledge of art history or theory or business acumen, but in what one has to say.
Contemporary artist Amanda Charchian was asked in an interview what she disliked about going to art school. In her response, she noted, “Most of my teachers came from the 1970’s CalArts conceptual art world, so they had us deconstruct everything we did in terms of the material being the message ( Truth to materials ). it was this idea that there was nothing in the work that could not be related to why you made it.Intuition was never enough of a reason. ” 
CalArts graduates-have joined or started successful pop bands, Including: The Belle Brigade , The Weirdos , Bedroom Walls , Beelzabubba, Dawn of Midi , The Rippingtons , Fitz and The Tantrums , Fol Chen , London After Midnight , No Doubt , Mission of Burma , Vago Radio, Oingo Boingo , Liars , The Mae Shi , Ozomatli , and Jack Ruby.
Today, CalArts is recognized alongside Black Mountain College and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as one of the truly successful experiments in American arts education. 
Pixar University is an in-house professional-development program within the framework of the concept of employee education and training.  It is speculated to be based on the educational model of CalArts. The program offers more than 110 courses: a complete filmmaking curriculum, classes on painting, drawing, sculpting and creative writing, which usually last four to sixteen weeks. These classes are available only for animators, but everyone, from the security guard to the chef cafeteria. In this setting, employees are allowed to work for a full slate in classes (about 14 per week) to raise the level of the best, cross-train, and develop mastery in whatever subjects may interest them. The vision behind the university is one of the most important benefits of the program is to build morale, spirit and communication among employees. The dean of Pixar University, Randy S. Nelson, explains: “We’ve made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business. We are trying to create a culture of learning, it is not a trick to learn about it, but it’s a gift to be interested.
On August 29, 2014, a freshman student identified by Regina filed a Title IX complaint against CalArts, regarding CalArts’ improper response to its report rape by a classmate. According to Aljazeera, the CalArts mishandled the investigation, including questioning the victim, “… ask [ing] her questions about her drinking habits, how often she is part of, the length of her dress, if climaxing was an issue when she had been with her alleged rapist before. ” It has been subjected to retaliation from the perpetrators and the CalArts administration failed to curb said retaliation. Regina filed a complaint against CalArts with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and on September 30, CalArts was under investigation for how it handles sexual violence. The perpetrator, who was suspended for a year, was slated to return to CalArts in fall 2015. CalArts students later walked out of their classes and protested in solidarity with the victim on October 23, after the story had broken, later initiating a student-led meeting to discuss the issue of sexual assault.   
- East of Borneo
- Black Clock
- The Pictures Generation
- The 1 Second Movie
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