Students Should Apply Now for CSU Summer Arts; Financial Aid Available for Immersive, Valuable Program

Summer Arts 2010 The California State University Summer Arts program returns in July at CSU Monterey Bay, offering students from the visual and performing arts the opportunity to immerse themselves in creative work with some of the best artists in the world.

Coordinated by CSU faculty members, including one from CSU Stanislaus, the month-long Summer Arts offers classes and workshops in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, writing, media and arts education. Arts students are encouraged to apply now for the two-week sessions from July 1 to 28; those who apply first have the best chance of receiving financial aid.

CSU Stanislaus theatre Professor John Mayer has been involved in Summer Arts since 2002, helping to develop the curriculum and bringing together artists and professionals to teach the courses. Mayer said Summer Arts courses are very intense, usually running 12 to 14 hours each day, including weekends.

“A typical day in a theatre course might include voice and movement and acting methods in the morning, improvisation in the afternoon, and attending a public performance at night,” Mayer said. “Summer Arts is the single greatest educational experience I can recommend to an arts student, whether in theatre, music or art.”

This summer, Mayer is again coordinating Steppenwolf Classes West at Summer Arts, a program that takes its name from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, whose founders include Jeff Perry (currently appearing in Scandal on ABC), Joan Allen, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and others.

Laura Dickinson attended Summer Arts while an undergraduate at CSU Stanislaus. Now a master’s student, she will attend again this summer. She said many of her fellow students have gone on to professional theatre careers in Chicago and New York, and she'd recommend the program highly to anyone considering applying.

“Summer Arts strengthened my personal focus and got me thinking as an artist,” Dickinson said. “The application process is competitive, but be honest and genuine. Once you’re in, you’ll have the most amazing experiences you can imagine.”

For information on tuition fees, registration and transferrable course credits, visit the CSU Summer Arts website.

Denise Nordell