From the Dean

FEBRUARY, 2019


Dear Arts & Letters Community:

The spring semester got off to a pretty amazing start with the announcement of a significant gift to the College’s Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies (TVFM) from Hauser & Wirth Gallery. Hauser & Wirth’s $1 million gift over the next five years will support our undergraduate film production students and specifically student projects in “Community Impact Media,” a class designed by assistant professor Heather Fipps. As noted elsewhere, this innovative course provides student filmmakers with hands-on experience in media production and offers storytelling mentorship to guide them through the creation of original short documentaries about the inspiring work of local nonprofit organizations. 

The gift supports all three of the College of Arts & Letters strategic priorities: Pathways to Student Success; Community Cultural Connections; and Voices for Social Justice. Cal State LA students will have experiential learning opportunities using new state-of-the-art documentary filmmaking equipment, paving their professional pathway into the filmmaking industry. I had the opportunity to attend a screening at Hauser & Wirth of the films created in the course, seeing first-hand the community cultural connections being built by this partnership not only between the university and the gallery, but also between our students and the nonprofit service organizations they profiled, creating a triangular relationship between university, nonprofits, and gallery, anchored by Cal State LA. Finally, this unique opportunity enables students to develop their own voice as filmmakers by telling the stories of nonprofit organizations dedicated to social justice. 

Photo: Assistant professor Heather Fipps welcoming the audience. (Sarah M. Golonka/Hauser+Wirth LA)
Photo: Assistant professor Heather Fipps welcoming the audience. (Sarah M. Golonka/Hauser+Wirth LA)

On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of the College of Arts & Letters, I am enormously grateful for the opportunities this generous support will provide.

In other college news, we are very much looking forward to National Humanities Advocacy Day on March 12. This special day, a nation-wide recognition of the importance of the humanities, will be celebrated on campus with debates, performances, forensics demonstrations, printmaking, cosplay, poetry, a scavenger hunt, and more! If you’re on campus March 12, you won’t be able to miss it as the College takes over the main university walkway with information booths, puzzles and games, student clubs, and….who knows? I hear there may be unicorns. 

I’ll be there too, so stop by the College of Arts & Letters table to say hello!

Looking forward,

Linda Essig, Dean