Press Releases

CalArts Celebrates Graduates at Virtual Ceremony on May 15 at 6 pm PDT

CalArts Celebrates Graduates at Virtual Ceremony on May 15 at 6 pm PDT

Sending words of encouragement, over 20 distinguished alumni, including animation director Pete Docter, actor Ed Harris and composer Chrysanthe Tan contributed videos to the event. Access the ceremony at

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) presents a Virtual Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 15, 2020, at 6 pm PDT. Due to the social restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, CalArts created a virtual, live-streamed ceremony so students, alumni, family, and friends can celebrate 2020 graduates from the safety and comfort of home.

Tune in for the livestream where more than 400 graduates will celebrate the conclusion of their studies at CalArts and be conferred their degrees. The livestream event will be available as “video-on-demand” after May 15. The ceremony can be accessed at

The entire CalArts community, including alumni, have gone to great lengths to make the virtual graduation a fun-filled and meaningful event.

One highlight is the 20+ for 2020 alumni videos. This year, CalArts asked distinguished alumni to impart words of wisdom and offer encouragement to graduates. The ceremony will feature video messages from such alumni as composer John Luther Adams; animation director Lyndon Barrois; director of Non-Fiction Development at Lucasfilm, Christine Beebe; artist Beatriz Cortez; animation director Pete Docter; Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Nataki Garrett; animation director Jorge Gutierrez; actor Ed Harris; choreographer Jacques Heim; artist Naotaka Hiro; choreographer/director Mary Ann Kellogg; animation director Mark Kirkland; producer Natalie Metzger; fashion designer Marco Morante; animation director Mark Osborne; Artistic Planning Coordinator for the LA Philharmonic John Schwerbel; tabla artist Robin Sukhadia; composer/musician Chrysanthe Tan; artist Valerie Tevere; curator Irene Tsatsos; filmmaker Margo Victor; and dancer/choreographer Kevin Zambrano.

The virtual graduation ceremony was produced by School of Theater alumni Johnathan Barhite and Alice “Betsy” Matz. who work for Czarnowski Collective, a live events and brand agency that works generally with Fortune 500 companies. Johnathan has been an active alumni chapter member in the Atlanta area and conceived of the idea to help CalArts with graduation, bringing Betsy and many other alums on board to help with the project.

The Class of 2020 is invited to return to CalArts for an in-person graduation celebration during the weekend of Oct. 15-18. Knowing that some graduates may not be able to return to campus in October, CalArts created the virtual event, so that every graduate can officially mark this important milestone.