Arts Council for CSUN partners with Matadors Community Credit Union for unique award

Select students in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication will now have the opportunity to make their artistic dreams a reality with a new award sponsored by the Arts Council for CSUN and the Matadors Community Credit Union.

The award, named the 2015 Matadors Community Credit Union Award for Student Projects, was thought of in September 2014 and will give $1,000 to a student who can come up with and outline the most unique art project.

“Artists in particular, need money to do their craft,” said, Dena Dahilig, President of the Arts Council for CSUN. “Especially students, they’re paying tuition. And how do you come up with money to fund some crazy idea that you came up with while standing in the shower at five in the morning?”

The award aims to allow applicants to do exactly that, to make some crazy idea come to life. Unlike most awards, the arts council purposely put very few restrictions on what the project can be, as well as the subject matter in the project, so that students are free to express themselves and demonstrate their exceptional artistic abilities.

“We really wanted to leave it as open as we could, given the parameters that we spelled out in that [application],” said Joan Waller, head of Matador Awards for the Arts Council for CSUN. “So some student with a creative idea or something that they’ve dreamed about would have an opportunity to pursue it.”

In addition to being able to create a project that is intriguing and worthy, applicants must also factor in the $1,000 budget, as they are required to draft a budget stating how they plan on using the prize money.

Furthermore, applicants must also take into consideration how the project will benefit themselves, as well as those in the community.

“Doing a painting is one thing, but what are you going to do with that?” said Marnie Nemcoff, Vice President of Marketing at the Matadors Community Credit Union. “Is it going to benefit anybody? Are you going to take it one step further? I think we’re open to anything within reason.”

Aside from those with unique projects in mind, the award will be limited to students in the Mike Curb College, who are full-time students in the art, music or theater departments, who have at least a 2.5 GPA.

The deadline to turn in the application is on April 1 and the recipient of the award will be announced by May 1, and at which point, they will receive the first half of their prize. Looking even further, the recipient will have all summer (they will receive the second half of the prize in September) to complete the project, with the arts council being available to them for assistance.

All parties involved hope that applicants are able and willing to enrich themselves and grow, throughout the process.

“I want to see them presenting their piece and see in their demeanor what they got out of it,” said Dahilig. “You can tell that it was challenging, or it was exhilarating, or whatever. You can see that in somebody’s face.”