Los Angeles County made a $2 million contribution for the Performing Arts Center to be built on campus. The project is estimated to have a total cost of $100 million, more than $70 million of which has already been raised through a combination of public and private funds.
According to CSUN Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communication John Chandler, construction of the project will begin this fall and is expected to be complete by 2009. The complex will include a main hall with 1,725 seats and a new state-of-the-art studio for the campus radio station, KCSN.
In collaboration with the Music Center of Los Angeles County, the university plans to bring in large-scale performances of many varieties to the center, according to Ralph Hoskins, executive director of the Performing Arts Center. Although there are no performances booked at this time, Hoskins said the programming is very open at this point and may include everything from contemporary music concerts, Broadway shows and even ethnic performances.
“That’s the beauty of a performing arts center. It can be all things to all people,” said Hoskins “There’s room for it all to happen.”
The Music Center, which is located in downtown Los Angeles, has been open for 43 years and will use their expertise to further the arts through the CSUN Performing Arts Center, according to Catherine Babcock, Music Center vice president for marketing and communications.
The Music Center will also be advising the university on matters dealing with space and accommodations. CSUN signed an agreement for both parties to pursue joint programming opportunities, which could allow for Music Center performances here on campus, Chandler said.
“It’s a world of possibilities, and it will be a lot of fun to explore what those possibilities are as we continue this relationship,” Babcock said.
The university also plans to implement programs that will enable students to participate hands-on in the areas of their major such as marketing and public relations, Chandler said. Also, Hoskins said students will be offered discounts for the performances.
“The more art, the better for the citizens of Los Angeles and we’re excited about having an additional venue that will let people be more exposed to art,” Babcock said.
The idea for the Performing Arts Center originated with L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chairman Zev Yaroslavsky who represents the CSUN area and is very familiar with the campus and its surroundings. Continuing his interest in supporting arts in the Valley and taking into consideration the lack of performance venues in the area, Yaroslavsky proposed the idea for the CSUN Performing Arts Center, according to Chandler.
Currently, the architecture designs have been completed and the university is almost to the point of rendering a construction contract for the project, Chandler said.
With less than one-third of the fundraising remaining, the university is working on a fundraising campaign titled, “Imagine the Arts” which is directed at those in the community or region that desire to support arts in the Valley. One of the larger contributions is that of $5 million made by CSUN alumnus Mike Curb.
According to Hoskins, there are no theaters or concert halls in the San Fernando Valley that are on the same scale as the future CSUN Performing Arts Center.