May 9, 2017 — Valencia, CA — California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announces that CalArts President Steven D. Lavine and Glenn Edgerton artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will receive honorary doctorate of arts degrees at the Institute’s 2017 commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12. Dr. Lavine, who will be stepping down from his 29-year presidency at the end of May, is honored for his extraordinary legacy of leadership, creativity and innovation at CalArts. For three decades, Mr. Egerton’s has been a visionary leader in the world of dance. Both, in their respective fields, have made essential contributions to the creative communities of the United States and beyond.
Ravi S. Rajan, the Dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York, has been selected as CalArts’ fourth President and will begin his term in office on June 1, 2017,
With his nearly four decades of leadership as both a performer and director for such prestigious companies as the Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Mr. Edgerton has proven to be a tireless advocate of dance. During his unprecedented tenure, Dr. Lavine spearheaded the evolution of the Institute from a local college to an international presence in the arts. “His strategic and creative vision has enriched CalArts in ways few could have imagined,” said Tim Disney, Chairman of CalArts Board of Directors.
When he joined CalArts in 1988, President Lavine rescued the institute from financial difficulties. After the school suffered extensive damage following the Northridge earthquake in 1994, he again wrested the institute from the brink of extinction. Since that time, Lavine has deepened the footprint and extended the reach of Calarts through the establishment of the CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and the CalArts/Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts. “Now we have a highly engaged Board of Trustees, forward-looking leadership in place, stable finances and strong academic programs,” he said. His departure comes “with profound belief in the necessity to maintain and strengthen this irreplaceable institution.”
Edgerton, who in 2011 commissioned the legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp to create Scarlatti, has led Hubbard Street to pursue challenging new projects. While at the Joffrey, Edgerton was inspired by the work of Jiří Kylián. He has since gone on to present works by distinguished choreographers including Hans van Manen and William Forsythe, as well as Kylián. “The more theaters bring in international and domestic companies, the more it enriches the whole dance community, and pushes us to be the most we can be, advancing all of us and raising the bar for dance,” Edgerton told the Huffington Post.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.