Community gathers for all-day festival welcoming 4th President in true CalArts fashion, including music, art, rolling sculptures, and a fleet of food trucks.
Valencia, CA, September 18, 2017—California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) will hold a festive, all-day celebration on its Valencia, California campus, Friday, October 13th, as the Institute celebrates the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
“Ravi believes deeply in CalArts' core mission, and has lived it himself as an artist and educator,” said Tim Disney, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at CalArts. “I believe this personal experience, along with his lively imagination, his commitment to innovation, experimentation and excellence, and most importantly, his generosity of spirit, make Ravi the right leader to guide CalArts now and into the future.”
CalArts creativity will be on full display as the inauguration begins at 9 a.m. in the Institute’s Main Gallery. At 10 a.m., a processional, featuring musical performances by CalArts’s African Ensemble and Gamelan, large-scale sculptural heads of CalArts’s four Presidents wheeled along the route, and a range of creative contributions from CalArts’s six schools, (Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater), will lead the crowd to The Wild Beast, the Institute’s outdoor concert pavilion.
The start of the ceremony will be announced with a Fanfare for (R)evolution Arts written for the occasion by David Rosenboom, Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and the delivery of selected lines from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's call to action Poetry as Insurgent Art. Tim Disney will offer welcoming remarks and introduce honored guests and performers, followed by President Rajan’s inaugural address. After the inauguration, the President’s Welcome Lunch will feature entertainment by CalArts’s famous Latin Jazz Ensemble and a solo trumpet performance by the Institute’s new president.
A distinguished leader in the arts, Rajan previously served as Dean of the School of Arts at the State University of New York at Purchase, where he charted the creation of a new Master’s program in Entrepreneurship in the Arts, the first of its kind in the world, and helped launch a $100-million capital renovation of the school’s art and design facilities.
In addition to his esteemed career in teaching and college administration, Rajan devoted himself equally to his music, demonstrating a lifelong dedication to rigorous artistic practice. He studied music at both the University of Oklahoma and Yale University. He has performed with numerous ensembles, including productions on and off Broadway, and collaborated with other artists in the production of installation works and theater performances. Last year, for example, he worked with Oscar-winning documentarian Laura Poitras’ on her Whitney Museum exhibition. Rajan is a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and the President of the Asian American Arts Alliance.
The inauguration coincides with CalArts Weekend on October 13th and 14th, which welcomes CalArts alumni, friends and family to campus to celebrate the Institute. CalArts Weekend encapsulates two major elements of Rajan’s leadership vision: supporting open inquiry and pluralism, and recognizing young artists as agents of change. Highlights of this year’s CalArts Weekend will include forums featuring such high profile alumni as musicians Michael Fitzpatrick and James King of Fitz and The Tantrums, actor Hugo Armstrong, Grammy winning performance artist Ty Defoe and indie filmmaker Jared Januschka. Featured alumni include artists Kristin Cerda and Saehee Cho, composer/violinist Chrysanthe Tan and West Hollywood City Councilperson and former Mayor John D'Amico. On Saturday, as the sun sets over the legendary Chouinard Pool, alumni band Sandubas, featuring Robin Sukhadia and Clinton Patterson, will blend classical Indian rhythms with 70’s Bollywood vibes.
For more information on CalArts’s Inauguration, please visit: https://calarts.edu/about/president-ravi-s-rajan/inauguration/overview
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek, 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.