UCLA unveils Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, formerly UCLA Live
Center launches with new artist initiatives, collaborations, theater offerings; Artist Fellows Laurie Anderson, Robert Wilson; Trisha Brown dance retrospective
Kristy Edmunds, executive and artistic director, introduces the new Center for the Art of
Performance at UCLA.
The UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture today announces the creation of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA), an evolution from UCLA Live. The public performance arm of the university, CAP UCLA launches with a new visual identity, new community collaborations and artist initiatives, and a 2012–13 season that returns international theater to the program.
Full details of the CAP UCLA inaugural season, curated by executive and artistic director Kristy Edmunds, will be announced Tuesday, May 22.
The name change highlights the center's reinvigorated commitment to supporting the creation and presentation of works by contemporary artists in theater, dance, music and spoken word, building on UCLA's long history of performing arts presentation. CAP UCLA will open new avenues for collaboration, presentation and contextualization that will advance the work of international, national and local artists and more deeply connect their vision to the Los Angeles community.
Key CAP UCLA initiatives include artist fellowship and residency programs, extended collaborations with campus and Los Angeles arts organizations, a cohesive embrace of the K–12 arts education program Design for Sharing, new and widespread campus initiatives, and greater audience interactions within the center.
"Great universities are also great cultural institutions, and UCLA is especially proud of its public performing arts program, which has for nearly 80 years provided both the campus and the wider community with the opportunity to experience artists from around the world," said Christopher Waterman, dean of UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture. "When we began our search two years ago for a new leader of this program, we knew we wanted someone who could revitalize the role of public performing arts on campus and closely align arts presentation with the fundamental values of the university — education, community engagement, and the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
"In less than a year, Kristy Edmunds has tackled that goal with enormous energy and focus, forging partnerships and relationships both on and off campus, rekindling relationships with local and national arts leaders, and instituting programs that will serve both artists and audiences," he said. "Under her leadership, our new Center for the Art of Performance will create a space for artistic practice and for interdisciplinary dialogue about the arts, which we believe is vital to this campus and to a vibrant L.A. community."
CAP UCLA is engaged in ongoing dialogues with the Hammer Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum, UCLA's Herb Albert School of Music, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and UCLA's Powell and Clark libraries, among others, in an effort to expand opportunities for artists to present their work and to create in collaborative contexts.
A robust example of this collaborative philosophy is the center's initiative with faculty and students from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, who in April 2013 will take part in an ambitious weeklong retrospective on campus celebrating the work of acclaimed New York choreographer Trisha Brown. Presentations featuring UCLA dance students trained by members of the Trisha Brown Dance Company will coincide with a series of performances by the company at Royce Hall as part of the CAP UCLA season.
"By evolving UCLA Live into the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, there is a stated purpose around the organizational focus embedded directly in the name," Edmunds said. "It activates a commitment to artists, embellished contexts for their work and a creative discourse within contemporary performing arts that we believe will be galvanizing for audiences and clarifying about where we sit in the arts ecology. I am particularly enthusiastic about the possibilities that can now sit cohesively within the center's overall vision and expand our contribution to the arts locally, nationally and internationally."
CAP UCLA also will begin a multi-year collaborative programming alliance with two fellow arts presenters — the renowned Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which will serve as the resident orchestra for the CAP UCLA 2012–13 season, and the Angel City Jazz Festival/Jazz Bakery — illustrating the center's commitment to the campus and Los Angeles arts environment.
With the conviction that theater is a vital element of the performing arts and an integral part of any interdisciplinary performing arts portfolio, CAP UCLA's inaugural season will kick off this September with a major work of international theater, "Rhinoceros" by Eugene Ionesco, a production of Théâtre de la Ville–Paris directed by Emmanuel Demarcy–Mota.
Full details of the center's 2012–13 theater, dance, spoken word and music programming will be released at CAP UCLA's public launch event on Tuesday, May 22. News media, patrons, ticket-buyers, the UCLA campus community and members of the Los Angeles artistic community are invited to attend and should R.S.V.P. at uclalive.org/CAP.
CAP UCLA also inaugurates its Artist Fellows program this year with two extraordinary artists: music, visual art and spoken word pioneer Laurie Anderson and theater icon Robert Wilson. The new fellowship initiative is designed for master artists interested in sharing their knowledge and engaging in a relationship with an institution that supports the contextualization of their practice over a sustained period. Through a multi-year commitment to provide creative access to university research and scholarship, CAP UCLA will collaborate with fellows to imagine new work and create diverse avenues for future presentations. Programs developed by Artist Fellows will be featured in forthcoming CAP UCLA seasons.
In addition, the center's newly established residency program is already underway and recently hosted Meredith Monk, one of the most celebrated interdisciplinary artists in contemporary performance. The iconic composer, singer, filmmaker and choreographer spent the week of April 16–20 on campus, working with students from UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture under a Regent's Lectureship award facilitated by the school's department of world arts and cultures. Monk's residency at UCLA will inform her development of a new work that will debut as part of the 2012–13 CAP UCLA season.
CAP UCLA has also granted space and time residencies to several local and national artists, including Los Angeles–based director, designer, writer and media artist Lars Jan and award-winning Los Angeles choreographer and musician Barak Marshall. These residencies provide creative time and space for both emerging and established artists to rehearse and develop new work. Additional residencies will be announced as the season progresses.
"While the challenges that CAP UCLA will likely face are not dissimilar to those of most performing arts organizations — finding the balance between financial and artistic imperatives — the point is to not sacrifice one over the other but to deliver on both in equal measure," said Edmunds. "Balancing these with audience expectations and the current resource base makes for some robust decision-making. Not everything can be attained in a seven-month season, and so a view toward multiple years of programming and establishing unique and relevant collaborations becomes a strategy that we believe can have deep and lasting impact — certainly for artists, and equally for the audiences and supporters we engage."
The center builds on and expands long-standing imperatives that put the performing arts into action for students and the community, including the 40-year mission of the K–12 arts-education program Design for Sharing and the student-participation group Student Committee for the Arts at UCLA, which this May celebrates 50 years as a campus entity under the umbrella of UCLA's public performing arts program.
"With the formation of CAP UCLA comes new responsibilities for audiences and members," said Deborah Irmas, president of the center's membership board. "While embracing the contemporary, it is time to also reassess the importance of avant-garde pioneers. Kristy Edmunds' original vision will ensure that CAP UCLA will stand at the forefront as an institution committed to the empowerment of artists and the development of enthusiastic, engaged and educated audiences. Our philanthropic partners here in Los Angeles and beyond are excited by this new direction."
Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA) is dedicated to the advancement of the contemporary performing arts in all disciplines — dance, music, spoken word and theater, as well the emerging digital, collaborative and cross-art platforms inspired by today's leading artists and creators. CAP supports the creation, presentation and critical dialogues vital to the ongoing innovation and expressive potential of artists whose work, whether vibrantly emerging or internationally acclaimed, forms the dynamic and evolving heritage of contemporary performance. Based in UCLA's iconic Royce Hall, CAP UCLA is the university's public center for the presentation of the performing arts and contributes to the cultural life of the campus and greater Los Angeles, promoting civic dialogue and creative inquiry. Through an annual season of performing arts programs and extensive community-engagement events — including artist fellows and residency programs, K–12 arts education (Design for Sharing), student mentorship (Student Committee for the Arts), and art-making and experiential activities (Art in Action) — CAP UCLA advances the importance of art in society by celebrating and deepening the connection between artist and audience.