2009 NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​

Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only
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April 30, 2009

ARTstART Festival Offers Access to College’s Aesthetic Achievements

The Fine and Performing Arts Division is inviting community members to spend a weekend browsing the aesthetic achievements of its students and learning more about the college’s broad range of artistic offerings at the 2009 ARTstART Festival May 15-17, on the Valencia campus.
Including students, faculty and staff, the weekend-long festival will offer the community a glimpse inside the daily activities of the Fine and Performing Arts Division, while highlighting students’ work and providing a behind-the-scenes look at the Division’s facilities.

Attendees will have the opportunity to roam freely from building to building across campus, to view and experience samplings from the college’s art, music, dance, theatre, animation, radio/television/video/film (RTVF), graphic design and studio arts departments.
"The Division has a wealth of talent to display, from its staff to its faculty and most certainly from its students,” said Michael McCaffrey, art department faculty member at the college. “ARTstART will be the first in a series of annual events, staged by this exciting and vibrant area of the college, that will provide a great opportunity for us to showcase that talent to the community.”
The schedule of activities includes live music, student theatre performances, modern dance presentations, gallery exhibits, interactive lectures, in-class demonstrations and a unique open house and tour of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons (PAC).
The festival dates will coincide with both the college’s New Works Festival, a collection of plays written and performed by local playwrights, and the scheduled Tom Rush with the Lovell Sisters PAC performance on May 16.
“Attending ARTstART 2009 offers a great opportunity to see a wonderful array of student and professional faculty talent while meeting with the artists and performers up-close and personal,” said Dr. Floyd Moos, dean of fine and performing arts at the college. “Whether your taste is for dance, theatre, music, visual arts, traditional art or the contemporary, the breadth and depth of the activities here at the college may well surprise.”

April 28, 2009

College Hosts Community College Choir Festival

The Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons will be filled with harmonies when five choirs perform at the second annual Community College Choir Festival on May 1.
Choirs from Harbor College, Citrus College, Glendale College, Fullerton College and College of the Canyons will perform for 10 minutes and will be judged by Dr. Rob Istad, conductor of the University Singers and Chamber Choir at California State University, Fullerton.
This free event is the second annual Community College Choir Festival and will begin at 6 p.m.
"Choir festivals give the students an opportunity to sing for their peers, hear a wide variety of repertoire, and leave with many helpful and constructive comments,” says Julie Lawson. "We learn more about ourselves and the music we're singing every time we get the chance to perform."
As each choir prepares for their end-of-semester concert, Dr. Istad's comments will provide each choir and director with a list of suggestions for improving tone, pitch, articulation and balance.
The festival is open to the public.

April 22, 2009

'Noises Off' is a Laughing Matter at Performing Arts Center

A play within a play, the College of the Canyons Theatre Department production of “Noises Off” will charm audiences for four nights at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center starting on May 7.
The play, which New York Magazine called a “side-splitting” farce, is directed by Paul Wickline, chair of the college’s theatre department.
“The concept of the ‘play within the play’ isn’t unique,” said Wickline. “Many playwrights have explored this idea.  However, none has crafted as ingenious a script as Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off.’”
A hapless provincial theater company puts on a conventional sex farce called "Nothing On." For the first few minutes, the audience watches that very farce -- but quickly realizes it’s a disastrous rehearsal. Doors slam, plates of sardines go flying and actors miss their cues. The result is chaotically comical.
“Working on this project with such a terrific group of both college and community actors and a talented team of designers has been a delight,” said Wickline. “I look forward to sharing our work with the public.”

June 10, 2009

College to Host Vegan Earth Day Celebration

Vegans, vegetarians, environmentalists and interested community members are invited to a celebration designed to kick-start the summer -- and possibly a vegan lifestyle -- at the campus’ first Vegan Earth Day event.
Co-presented by the College of the Canyons Classified Senate, Sustainable Development Committee and Students for Sustainability campus group, the Vegan Earth Day celebration take place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, June 22 at the college’s Valencia campus.
The event will address a number of green awareness, sustainability, environmental impact and personal lifestyle issues associated with a vegan lifestyle while recognizing the very first Vegan Earth Day, as well as this month’s World Oceans Day global celebration.
Vegan Earth Day was created to bring mass awareness to environmentalists, media members, government representatives and concerned citizens around the world about the potentially devastating impact of meat consumption on our environment.
Event organizers are calling on global participants to ‘go vegan’ on June 21, 2009 for at least one day -- but preferably longer -- in an effort to save the earth and help reverse global warming.
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle choice that seeks to exclude the use of animals and animal products for food, clothing or any other purpose. The lifestyle choice is often due to one’s personal moral convictions or ethical commitments concerning animal rights, the environment and/or human health.
The concept for World Oceans Day was proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and has been unofficially celebrated on June 8, every year since then. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity each year to celebrate the world’s oceans and society’s personal connection to the sea.
“I’ve been a vegetarian for 40 years, and with the advent of new cheese food products will soon be completely vegan,” said Dennis Lettau, president, College of the Canyons Classified Senate. “As a long time environmentalist, I’m also very active in issues that affect our planet.”
“Our hope is to combine Vegan Earth Day and World Oceans Day into one campus event,” added Lettau “that brings attention to and informs our students and community members about some of these important environmental issues.”
Including a vegan style barbeque beginning at 11 a.m. in front of Seco Hall and a special 1 p.m. film presentation in Mentry Hall-318, the event will also feature an in-depth panel discussion on issues ranging from the environmental impact and health implications of a vegan diet, to the connection between environmental sustainability and animal agriculture, and the controversy surrounding ‘green business’ practices by some major corporations around the world.
“Given society’s increasing awareness about the connection between the foods we eat and the harmful environmental side effects, the event organizers hope to provide valuable and practical information about the impact of our daily dietary choices,” said Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, co-chair of the college’s Sustainable Development Committee. “We’ll also try to show people a positive and healthy alternative to a diet and lifestyle laden with animal products in what should be a fun and delicious event.”

April 14, 2009

Literature to Life Essay Contest Winners Announced

Officials at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons (PAC) have announced the three scholarship winners of the college’s Literature to Life essay contest focusing on Khalid Hosseini’s best-selling novel “The Kite Runner.”
Contest organizers called for high school students to submit an essay of 800 words or less that compared and contrasted Hosseini’s novel and the PAC’s presentation of the American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life adaptation of “The Kite Runner,” while also discussing how the live one-man performance enhanced specific elements of the novel.

“The Kite Runner” -- the College of the Canyons Book of the Year -- is the first novel about contemporary Afghanistan to be written in English. The PAC presentation dramatically portrays the relationship of two boys, Amir, a privileged Pashtun, and Hassan, a Hazara servant, set in Afghanistan during the tumultuous 1970s.
As inspiration for the contest students were offered scholarship prizes in the amount of $250, $150 and $100 for first, second and third place entries.
“The presentation of ‘The Kite Runner’ stimulated a wide range of interesting discussion and was one of the integral pieces of the college’s first book of the year event,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “It was a difficult task picking the winner. We received a number of excellent essays, all of which did an outstanding job demonstrating a unique point of view about both the novel and live presentation.”
Though open to all William S. Hart Union High School District high schools students, the bulk of the essay submissions, and each of the three scholarship winners, came from Saugus High School teacher Jodi Guerrero’s advanced placement (AP) English class.
Winners were selected as follows:
1st Place: Joseph Taylor, $250
2nd Place: Marissa Embola, $150
3rd Place: Carina Hornbrook, $100
"The combined opportunity to read ‘The Kite Runner’ and to experience this stunning one-man performance allows students interested in combining literature and theatre to gain a broader understanding of these two related areas of academic interest,” said Dr. Floyd Moos, dean of fine and performing arts at the college.

April 14, 2009

College Students Explore Argentina

Gathered around a television set at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, a group of College of the Canyons students watched as President Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
“We stood together and sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’” remembers Diane Raines, a nursing student who was on the trip. “I have never felt more proud to be an American.”
Raines was one of the 22 students who recently spent three weeks in Argentina thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of State that funded 22 travel scholarships in order to promote the study of tourism in South America.

“I do feel differently after taking this trip,” said Raines, who studied conversational Spanish and contemporary environmental issues while abroad. “It expanded my world.  I think I also lost the sharp edge of cultural elitism that so often permeates our society.”
Raines -- whose previous international travel included Canada and Mexico -- enjoyed the culture and people of Argentina.

“The people were great,” said Raines. “They truly went out of their way to embrace us.”
Among the many things Raines will remember about the trip is visiting Iguazu Falls -- majestic waterfalls located on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay -- and how a butterfly landed on a friend’s hand.
“It was beyond belief,” she said. “It was a spectacular setting, and our contact with the wildlife was really up close and personal.”
Also traveling with the group was Ani Datastanyan, who studied biology, tourism and hotel management during the trip.

“I feel very different as a result of this trip,” said the 21-year-old, who had never traveled outside of the U.S. “I am a whole new person.”
After getting over her initial culture shock, Datastanyan flourished.
“I would go out during the day and speak to people while buying water, calling cards or anywhere. It helped me expand my language skills.”
Datastanyan, who traveled with her cousin and best friend Martina, says she loved experiencing independence for the first time in a foreign country.
“It taught us how to live on our own, especially since we were living in apartments and had to find our way through the city,” she said. “I loved it so much I didn’t want to come home.”

“For a teacher, it is exciting to see students step up to the challenges of living in a foreign country,” said Kevin Anthony, chair of hotel and restaurant management at the college who was one of three instructors leading the trip.
Anthony recalls what happened on the day of the group’s departure and how two students stayed behind to continue traveling.
“When it came time to leave, all the students gathered around them to say goodbye,” he said.  “None of these students knew each other three weeks before, but you could see how close they had become.”
The trip also brought back memories for Anthony.
“I spent my third year of college in Rome and this trip reconnected me to that time,” he added. “It is amazing how some experiences have the same effect on you after thirty-five years.”
Studying abroad, Raines said, intensified her intention to serve those who would otherwise not have access to medical treatment. The nursing student hopes to work for Doctors without Borders.  
As for Datastanyan, she has caught the travel bug.
“I loved studying abroad and I’m thinking of doing it more often,” said Datastanyan. “It made studying and going to school much more fun and interesting. It was a very huge change and I loved it. I wish everyone could experience that.”
The next study abroad trip will be a three-week trip to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. While studying biology, tourism and Spanish, students will visit the Panama Canal, Tortuguero -- a national park in Costa Rica -- rain forests, volcanoes and the Caribbean.

April 8, 2009

Animation Department Receives $5,000 Grant from Medtronic

The Animation Department was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Medtronic Foundation to support the ACME Animation Network, a fee-based online learning community.
ACME links students with other college students, high school students and animation industry professionals from across the nation through videoconferencing sessions.

“The ACME project is critical to maintaining the high level of instruction and opportunities available to animation students at College of the Canyons,” said Elana Edelstein, a grant writer at the college. “In the challenging and rapidly evolving field of animation, students need to understand and measure their work against that of their peers.”
Students can upload animated movies and projects on ACME’s site for feedback from peers and industry professionals from Disney, DreamWorks and Sony, among many others.

Because the program assists students in developing online portfolios approved by professionals as “studio-ready,” many studios will hire graduates directly from the ACME experience, added Edelstein. The direct interaction between students and industry professionals also provides students with inside access to industry procedures and employment.
“The ACME program gives students a unique opportunity to connect with their peers through an animation social network,” said Jeff Baker, chair of the college’s animation department. “ACME Animation differs from most video Websites such as YouTube and MySpace because ACME is solely for animation students and professionals.”

By critiquing the work of their peers and mentoring high school students, ACME student users accrue points that count towards the opportunity to show their work to professionals via teleconferencing sessions.
Employment projections for careers in animation remain favorable in California, often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world. The California Employment Development Department projects a 31.9 percent increase in statewide employment between 2006 and 2016.
“The college has a vested interest in stimulating student interest and encouraging more students to pursue careers in animation,” said Edelstein.

April 3, 2009

College, City of Santa Clarita Collaborate on Earth Day 2009

This spring the College of the Canyons Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) is working with City of Santa Clarita officials to coordinate a ‘Recycled Work of Art’ contest — with entered pieces set to be presented at the community wide Earth Day Festival and 20th Annual Arbor Day Celebration Saturday April 18, at Central Park.
Each year the City hosts the Arbor Day Celebration to educate residents about the benefits of trees as part of the world-recognized Arbor Day holiday. As an added event to this year’s celebration, Earth Day festivities will include a variety of live entertainment and interactive activities, vendor booths and displays scheduled to take place across six environmentally themed interactive zones.
Throughout the spring, members of the college’s SDC and Students For Sustainability group have been performing service-learning projects at local schools, working to promote themes of environmental responsibility while helping to create art projects to be entered into the contest.
“One of our primary goals is to get students of all ages engaged in the Earth Day festival and Arbor Day celebration,” said Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, co-chair of the college’s Sustainable Development Committee (SDC). “Hopefully interacting with our students and presenting the opportunity to enter their work into the art contest will encourage them to become involved in the city’s long term environmental goals.”
Offering the rare opportunity to participate in the development of a public art practice, the ‘Recycled Work of Art’ contest has been designed to increase awareness about the City’s recycling program while also promoting environmental art work.
Contest entries must be made entirely of reusable, recycled and/or recyclable materials (with the exception of materials used to hold it together). Entry may be painted or submitted in a natural state, however the use of hazardous materials and/or containers that once held hazardous materials (i.e. paint, oil, pesticides, cleaning products, chemicals etc) may not be used.
All submitted projects must include an entry form and accompanying questionnaire. Entries can be dropped off on the day of the event from 9 to 10 a.m. in the children’s zone area at Central Park. Entries can then be picked up from 5 to 6 p.m.
Awards will presented in the following categories: creativity (1st, 2nd, 3rd), best use of recyclables (1st, 2nd, 3rd), elementary school, junior high school and high school.

Artists are asked to reserve a spot for their work before April 10 by contacting Donna Avila with the City of Santa Clarita at (661) 286-4018.
Central Park is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road. For more information on the Earth Day Festival and Arbor Day Celebration, contact Jeff Barber, City of Santa Clarita Arts and Events Supervisor at (661) 286-4078.

April 2, 2009

Great Wine, Gourmet Food and Good Company at 22nd Annual Wine Classic

Wine connoisseurs from across the Santa Clarita Valley are invited to partake in an evening of great wine, gourmet food and good company at the 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Valley Wine Classic being held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 30, in the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) main gallery.

Boasting a variety of new release, rare and vintage wine selections, as well as a plethora of delectable dishes from some of Santa Clarita’s finest restaurants and caterers, this annual event benefits the Student Symphonic Orchestra Program at College of the Canyons.

The orchestra is a three-tiered instrumental education program that was founded at CalArts in 1969 and moved to College of the Canyons in 1989. The program provides a positive and creative outlet for hundreds of young musicians throughout the valley.

In addition to sampling the impeccable array of food and drink, guests will receive a souvenir wine glass and tray to use while tasting, snacking and otherwise socializing during the event. 

During the silent auctions portion of the evening, guests will have the opportunity to bid on an array of both rare and popular wines, restaurant gift certificates and an assortment of attractive gift baskets.

Tickets for the 2009 SCV Wine Classic are currently on sale through the College of the Canyons Foundation. The pricing structure is as follows:

  $70 each / $135 pair until May 30
• $80 each / $155 pair at the door
• $35 each for designated drivers
• $65 each (10 minimum) for group sales through May 25

CalArts is located at 24700 McBean Parkway, just east of the I-5 freeway.

April 1, 2009

Power Outage, Campus Closure Planned on April 7

When College of the Canyons students are off enjoying their well-deserved spring break April 6 to 11, the business part of the college will remain open at both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses most of those days. One notable exception is Tuesday, April 7, when the Valencia campus must close its doors completely to accommodate a major upgrade in its electrical service.
The practical impact of this closure is that no campus services will be available to the public on the Valencia campus on the 7th and since the main computer servers for both campuses are located in Valencia, limited services will be available on the Canyon Country campus. Admissions and Records offices, counseling, financial aid, bookstores, and the campus’ Internet service will be affected for most of that day on both campuses.
“We try to schedule these kinds of high-impact projects when students are not on campus,” said Jim Schrage, vice president, facilities planning, operations and construction for the college. “Those times are few and far between at this busy college,” admitted Schrage, “and it puts a lot of pressure on us to get a lot of work done in one day. So while others are enjoying a break, I’ll have my staff here working with the contractors to get the job done on time.”
Since students are not on campus, most of the faculty won’t be on campus either. And, in order to make the most out of the day for the remaining staff, a professional development day has been scheduled at an off-campus location. That means fewer people will be on campus, allowing Schrage’s crews the unfettered access they need to get the electrical work done.
Both campuses will be open again for business on Wednesday, April 8 through 10, although they will be in spring break mode through -- with staff working hard on the remainder of the spring semester and preparing for the upcoming summer sessions that begin on June 15. With students returning to college as a result of the economic downturn, record enrollments are expected for this summer.