Events and Programs

thurs.night returns

It’s thurs.night! Join us at thurs.night.calarts.edu starting December 3, 6:00pm for our relaunch event featuring:

  • Onyou Oh: THE OOO EXPRESS in the grand cinema
  • KCIA Presents in a404
  • CalArts Salsa Band in the echo chamber
  • Circus Zoom in the playhouse, premiering 6:30pm pt
  • jimmy eet world; a collaborative remix-reading: presented by HYPERLINK in double-r starting 7:30pm pt
  • Kensaku Shinohara: Good Bye in the black box
  • CalArts Collage Association (CACA) in the workshop starting 7pm pt
  • community hang in the annex starting 7:15pm pt
  • thurs.night Afterparty with DJ Tracey Brakes in the annex starting 8pm pt

We hope to see you there tonight! If you can’t make it, thurs.night will remain open until next Wednesday for all non-livestream exhibitions.

If you’d like to submit your work to thurs.night or have your art for sale/business/services listed in our CalArts gift guide, please use this link. To keep updated throughout the week, follow thurs.night on Instagram and Facebook

El Dia de los Muertos

October 31 - November 2, 2020

On behalf of Mi Gente’ and the IDO please join the community in recognition of Dia de los Muertos.

What is Dia de los Muertos?

In the United States, Mexico and parts of Central and South America October 31  November 2 is recognized as “El Dia de los Muertos” or “the Day of the Dead.” This celebration reflects a pre-Hispanic understanding of death as a part of life rather than an end or something to be feared. During Dia de los Muertos (Dia los Muertos), the souls of departed loved ones are welcomed back to earth for a few special hours. 

How are the souls of ancestors and past loved ones honored?

Welcoming traditions are as diverse as the peoples of Mexico and the Americas. Family rituals are private and often include: 

  • Ofrendas or Altars
    An altar prepared at home and often at the grave sites of loved ones. This temporary altar is a way for families to honor their loved ones and provide them what they need on their journey. They are decorated with bright yellow flowers –cempasuchiles (flowers of the dead) –as well as with family photos, candles, religious images, offerings of food and drink, and even special objects loved by the deceased in life.
  • Flowers (Cempasuchils​)​ 
    The cempasúchil, a type of marigold flower native to Mexico, is often placed on ofrendas and around graves. With their strong scent and vibrant color, the petals are used to make a path that leads the spirits from the cemetery to their families’ homes.
  • Monarch Butterflies
    Monarch butterflies play a role in Día de los Muertos because they are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter each fall on Nov. 1, which coincides with Día de los Muertos.
  • Calaveritas de azúcar
    Calaveritas de azúcar, or sugar skulls, along with toys, are left on the altars for children who have passed. The skull is used not as a morbid symbol but rather as a reminder of the cyclicality of life, which is why they are brightly decorated.

While sacred and often private, this tradition is a celebration and like other celebrations, Día de los Muertos is filled with music and dancing. Some popular dances include La Danza de los Viejitos—the dance of the little old men—in which boys and young men dress as old men, walk around crouched over then suddenly jump up in an energetic dance. Another dance is La Danza de los Tecuanes—the dance of the jaguars—that depicts farm workers hunting a jaguar.

The Spaniards brought all Saints and All Souls day to this tradition and it must be noted that this sacred tradition is not a part of Halloween.

CalArts LatinFest 

March 4-8, 2019

The Latin American Arts Festival (LatinFest) is a multidisciplinary celebration of music, art, film, dance, theater, literature, and culture. Our mission is to promote artistic diversity, raise intercultural and intersectional awareness, expose social issues, and challenge stereotypes about Latinxs and Latin America in our school and community. The festival includes events such as performances, installations, screenings, lectures, and workshops by CalArts students, faculty and alumni, as well as guest artists.

Learn more


Interdisciplinary Talks: Transitions

February 23, 2017 | 4-7pm | Mod Lobby

The concept, transition, has occupied the U.S. American public imagination by way of the election; State-centered debates about civil rights among shifting racial, national, and gender populations; the subjectivities of people who self-identify as trans; questions of the impact of technology on human connection and notions of “the human” itself. More locally, our Institute is a place that is designed to foster transition through artmaking and the critical education that supports practice.

The Equity and Diversity Committee, in partnership with the Office of the Provost, invites you to Interdisciplinary Talks, a series of presentations and conversations centered around concepts we propose as relevant to CalArts and beyond. Our inaugural event is Transitions, and features Roberta Uno (Director of Arts in a Changing America), Shannon Scrofano (Designer), and Evyind Kang (Composer). Douglas Kearney (Critical Studies) will moderate.


E&D presents Roxane Frias: Screening + Q&A

March 16, 2017 | 4:30pm | Bijou Theater

Immigration has played an important role in the history of the United States, yet Latinos are not becoming Americans like the immigrants before them. By 2035, Latinos will represent 35 percent of the U.S. population. How will this impact America’s political, social, economic and cultural future?

In 2012, Latinos as a group, had overwhelmingly voted for President Obama (75 percent to 27 percent) and thus given him a second term in office. That day, Latinos as a unified demographic, demonstrated that they can indeed pick the next President. Republicans and Democrats realize they need the Latino electorate. But to what extent has Latino influence already changed the identity and economic structure of the country? Roxanne Frias has made a number of documentaries on the U.S., among them "Made in Chicago" and "The Making of Barack Obama"


Speaking in Public

Speaking in Public is a series of talks and workshops hosted by the Equity & Diversity Committee and designed to encourage discussion and collaboration between CalArts students, staff, faculty and administration on a wide range of concerns. It can be difficult to talk about sensitive, complex topics in groups, no matter how small or familiar, for fear of being ridiculed, of offending someone, of not knowing enough, or not having the ‘right’ to speak about a difference or experience not one’s own. Speaking in Public provides participants opportunities to practice exchanging, learning and taking risks with others, with greater awareness, confidence and investment.

Held Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm in the Main Gallery.

Previous Speakers:

  • Jeff Chang
  • Roberto Uno: Arts in a Changing America
  • Cynthia Carr: Fire in the Belly, on David Wojnarowicz
  • Suheir Hammad & Shahrnush Parsipur: The Magic of Solidarity
  • Roger Guenveur Smith: Frederick Douglass Now
  • Luis Camnitzer & Michele Wallace: A Town Hall on Art & Race in the 21st Century
  • Allison Adelle Hedge Coke: Reading & Conversation
  • Julie Dash: Daughters of the Dust
  • Robert Greygrass: Oral Tradition and Being Human Being
  • Judy Baca: Excavating Land & Memory Through Public Art
  • Stanley Nelson: Freedom Riders
  • Chris Abani: Art as Witness
  • Roger Bonair-Agart: The Exclusivity of Space