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CalArts Receives $500,000 Grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation

Valencia, CA, January 27--Steven D. Lavine, President of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced that the Trustees of the S. Mark Taper Foundation have approved a grant of $500,000 towards the construction of an innovative music pavilion on the CalArts campus.  Called The Wild Beast, the structure was named for contemporary American composer Morton Feldman's metaphor for creative energy.

Founded in 1989, the S. Mark Taper Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities. In honor of their gift, the courtyard surrounding The Wild Beast will be named the S. Mark Taper Foundation Courtyard.

"The S. Mark Taper Foundation is delighted to lend its name and support to this exemplary project," said Executive Director Ray Reisler.  "In 1991, the foundation funded the S. Mark Taper Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in the Visual Arts at CalArts.  Now, with this current gift, the S. Mark Taper Foundation continues to support CalArts' ongoing contributions to excellence in the arts.  The Wild Beast will be a vital resource for future generations of talented students and for the surrounding community--providing access to the rich variety of musical styles and cultures represented by CalArts' students, faculty and visiting artists."

The S. Mark Taper Foundation's generous gift will assist in raising funds for the completion of The Wild Beast and The Campaign for CalArts.  Currently in the closing stages, the $150 million Campaign has reached a total of $142 million with the addition of the foundation's contribution.

"The S. Mark Taper Foundation Courtyard, together with The Wild Beast music pavilion, will become CalArts' largest and most attractive setting for concerts meant for both the CalArts community and the general public in our region," said President Lavine.  "I expect that in very short order, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Courtyard will become the symbol of CalArts' interconnection with the Santa Clarita Valley.  We are deeply grateful for the opportunity the S. Mark Taper Foundation has given us."

The Wild Beast will provide the space required to accommodate the activities of the growing enrollment in CalArts' Herb Alpert School of Music.  Designed by the Los Angeles-based architectural firm Hodgetts + Fung, the 3,200 square-foot building will adapt to large outdoor public performances, small recitals and classes.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation's contribution plays an important role towards providing a significant cultural resource for CalArts' surrounding community of Santa Clarita.  Concerts at The Wild Beast will complement arts programming in the city by offering residents unprecedented access to leading music artists from across the country and around the world.  Free year-round programming at The Wild Beast will feature performances by talented students, renowned faculty and visiting artists.

In addition, The Wild Beast will serve as a music venue for hundreds of middle and high school students to showcase their accomplishments before family and friends.  Santa Clarita area youth in the CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) will perform their end-of-the-year recitals at The Wild Beast and high school students in Innerspark--the California State Summer School for the Arts hosted by CalArts each July--will also use the venue for instruction, rehearsals and performances.

Construction of The Wild Beast is funded through the Campaign for CalArts, which is focused on raising support for three critical priorities at CalArts: growing the endowment for faculty and student support, sustaining current programs and supporting selected capital projects.  Expanding facilities for music students and constructing The Wild Beast is an important component of the Campaign.

California Institute of the Arts is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six school--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater--CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding.  CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.

Last edited by Smith on Aug 25, 2010
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