Visiting artists and more than 300 students will fill Fresno State’s campus with dance, music, writing and other creative works as CSU Summer Arts returns for another inspiring season.
For over 30 years, the California State University program has assembled some of the world’s top creative artists to be a part of the annual festival while teaching students and performing for the public. Summer Arts will feature more than 25 live events, so members of the community can see the world-class talent for themselves.
“We love being in Fresno, and couldn’t be happier to be embarking on our third summer back here,” said Joanne Sharp, assistant director of CSU Summer Arts. “We have so many great public events this year, and can’t wait to see all of our Fresno friends at the shows.”
This is the third straight year Fresno State has hosted the Summer Arts festival. Fresno State also hosted Summer Arts from 1999 through 2011 before it was held on the California State University, Monterey Bay campus from 2012-16.
Since 1985, the CSU has been offering Summer Arts to students systemwide. Students are provided on-campus housing as they work side-by-side with arts professionals for two or more weeks during the summer. At the end of the course, local communities surrounding the campus are invited to a public arts festival, where Summer Arts students proudly showcase their talents in music, theatre, dance, media, creative writing and visual art and design.
Student showcases are free and open to the public on July 12, 23, 26 and 27, while Fresno State’s campus transforms into a public arts festival throughout July that allows the community to experience the talents of guest artists from around the world.
- “An Evening of French Piano” at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at the Fresno State Concert Hall with virtuosos Jeffrey LaDeur, Gwendolyn Mok, Joel Schoenhals, Omir Shimron, Richard Shuster and William Wellborn performing music by French composers including Ravel, Debussy, Alkan, and Chopin.
- Diavolo Dance Company will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the Fresno State Concert Hall. Based out of Los Angeles, the Diavolo Dance Company rose to fame after appearing on “America’s Got Talent.” Its work incorporates the elements of dance, the strength of gymnastics and the technology of large-scale architectural pieces.
- New York Times bestselling authors Terese Marie Mailhot and Lidia Yuknavitch will present a reading at m. Saturday, July 20, at the John Wright Theatre. Yuknavitch is the author of bestselling novels “The Book of Joan,” “The Small Backs of Children” and “The Chronology of Water.” Mailhot is the author of “Heart Berries: A Memoir,” which was nominated for the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Award for nonfiction.
- An evening of foot-tapping and hip-shaking will ensue at the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Concert, featuring Grammy winner Doug Beavers and seven-time Grammy nominee John Santos, a two-time Indie Award winner. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the Fresno State Concert Hall.
Tickets for the CSU Summer Arts festival, and a full schedule of events, are now on sale at www.csusummerarts.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the Fresno State box office starting on June 17.
(Story by Mariah Walton)