$1 million endowment supports new Center for Creativity and the Arts

The College of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Fresno has received a $1 million endowment to support the new Center for Creativity and the Arts, President John D. Welty announced today.

The center will introduce interdisciplinary, universitywide thematic exhibitions involving all of the school and colleges at Fresno State. As a gallery, lecture hall, performance space and school and community organization, the Center for Creativity and the Arts will focus on its vision of academic enrichment. The Center won’t occupy any particular physical space, but will use existing spaces on campus depending on the needs of the exhibition.

The endowment from an anonymous donor will create the John and Madeline Perenchio Arts Exhibition Endowment and the Andrew and Dorothea Perenchio Museum Studies Internship Endowment.

The center concept was created last spring when Fresno State was asked to assist the Fresno Arts Museum. A visionary group of faculty, staff and administrators gathered to develop ways to assist the museum, and then continued to meet after museum directors withdrew their request for help.

The center’s exhibitions will include cinema, music, dance, theatre, readings, lectures and hands-on learning opportunities. This rich array will provide students and the broader community easy access to thought-provoking art, visiting guest artists and lecturers and stimulating educational programs.

Each year the center will focus on one theme, with the first being Labor, Immigration and Migration. By using the thematic concept, all colleges on campus can participate in programming.

As an example, the Department of Chicano and Latin American studies might present on the history of political-economic relationships between the global north and the global south; the Women’s Studies Program on feminist organizing around migration and economic exploitation in Guatemala; while the Department of Criminology could report on the relationship between labor migration and the Juárez murders.

Artistic programming around the theme could include music, lectures, dance, plays, movies, book readings, participatory art, exhibitions, poetry and history writing assignments.

Arts and Humanities Associate Dean José Diaz will serve as the center’s interim director. For more information, contact Dean Vida Samiian at 559.278.3056.

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