Arts Division Newsletter

Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu and her husband Dan Shimizu at the Stanford University Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

photo: Linda Tran

Message from the Dean of Arts

Celine Parreñas Shimizu, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Film and Digital Media

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November 15, 2023

Dear Arts Community,

The fall season’s bright sunny days and gentle morning fog greet us each morning in this season of grief, sadness and pain as we collectively ache, yearn and long for peace.

As we delve into the quarter, I remain grateful to be inducted into the Stanford University Multicultural Hall of Fame on October 20. This honor bestowed upon me by my Ph.D. alma mater was a joyful ceremony. Some Banana Slugs joined several hundred Stanford alumni, students, faculty, staff, leaders and friends in recognizing my career and contributions to social justice, change, and impact in line with our shared mission here at UC Santa Cruz. Receiving this recognition during Filipinx American History Month brought added affirmation that reignites my leadership, scholarship and filmmaking as Dean of the Arts and a Banana Slug!


Coming up on November 17 is a very special live piano performance by Arts Division alumnus, multi Emmy Award winner, and producer of Days of our Lives, Ken Corday. This wonderful event is open to UCSC students, faculty and staff, and we’re so pleased to welcome Ken back to campus to play on what was his favorite instrument when he was a student, the Bösendorfer grand piano. Ken’s enormous generosity to the Arts Division is providing transformational and life-changing opportunities for our students in the Music Department and also in Film and Digital Media. Please be sure to join us in community with Ken Corday! 

I thank all of you who so generously participated in Giving Day this year! These funds directly assist our students in a variety of ways from funding socially impactful research to internship scholarships that support students’ living expenses as they seize opportunities, and professional programs that provide students with valuable career advising and networking. This is our biggest fundraising day of the year and all of your contributions make a huge difference in so many students’ lives.


On November 29, the Arts Division celebrates together at Convocation, our annual fall welcome gathering. This year we’re honoring another esteemed alumnus, Kevin Nolting, with the Distinguished Banana Slug Award in the Arts. Over the years, Kevin, who is an award-winning Pixar film editor, has been a gracious mentor to many of our students and he, along with Ken Corday, is a member of our Arts Advocacy Council.

This quarter also brings outstanding performances by our music students, including the UCSC Orchestra, the UCSC Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble, and the Family Opera. Be sure to check out all of our events, listed below, and join us in supporting our students’ superb talent and hard work.

Heartiest and happiest thanks to all of you, our faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends for sharing our mission and vision: excellence and equity, and the power of the arts to enrich our lives, elevate our consciousness and transform society. I am grateful to lead and serve as your Dean.

Let’s do great things together,

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People in the Arts

Featured Undergraduate Student

Natalya Gonzalez


Natalya Gonzalez grew up in Los Angeles. As a kid, she loved to sketch and draw with pastels. She came to UC Santa Cruz to study biology since she was interested in research and all the labs on campus. Studying the subject in a beautiful place like Santa Cruz seemed like a great fit to her.

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Featured Graduate Student

Lee Chang Ming

Environmental Art & Social Practice MFA Candidate

Lee Chang Ming’s work Chromatic is currently on view at the NUS Museum in Singapore. Chromatic is a series of experimental photograms that looks at the transience of memory and corporeality of photography as a medium. The exhibition brings together individuals who use photography as a means of visual research that complements their respective disciplines and those who employ it as a form of artistic research.

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Featured Faculty

Irene Lusztig

Film & Digital Media

While making Yours in Sisterhood, UC Santa Cruz professor and documentary filmmaker, Irene Lusztig, went to 32 states to film people reading and responding to letters sent to Ms. Magazine in the 1970s. One of towns she went to was Richland, in Eastern Washington to meet Trisha Pritikin, who chose as her backdrop for reading her letter a huge logo of a mushroom cloud that covered the back wall of the high school.

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Featured Staff

Ricardo Lomelí

Department Manager, Music Department

Ricky Lomeli, the Music Department Manager at UC Santa Cruz, started playing drums in 5th grade. No one in his family played an instrument, but he had some friends in bands and thought it would be fun.

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Featured Alumni

Ken Corday

Porter ’75, Aesthetic Studies

"Any chance to return to my alma mater and encourage young minds to explore their own original creative pursuits is a blessing and a privilege that I do not take lightly," says Ken Corday. "I am forever in awe at the vibrance and spirit of the UCSC community. I hope that students leave with a renewed sense of peace as they continue with their scholastic journeys. Go Slugs!" On Nov. 17, Corday will perform in a solo piano recital just for students, faculty and staff, at UCSC’s Music Center.

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Arts Happenings and In the News

Joseph Erb Featured Speaker at National Trail of Tears Association

The Trail of Tears Association is a national nonprofit with a mission to identify, protect, and preserve Trail of Tears National Historic Trail resources and to promote awareness of the Trail’s legacy, including the removal stories of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole, consistent with the National Park Service’s trail plan. Joseph Erb, Assistant Professor, Film and Digital Media, spoke at their 26th annual conference (Oct. 16-18) and his animated film Grandma was an Outlaw also was screened there.

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Amy Beal’s Book Receives ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award

Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department, Amy Beal’s book "Terrible Freedom: The Life and Work of Lucia Dlugoszewski," published by University of California Press, has received a 2023 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) is a historically important entity, started in 1914. It is a performing rights organization of 940,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. Beal is also the author of New Music, New Allies: American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to Reunification, Carla Bley, and Johanna Beyer.

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Leta Miller, Professor of Music Emerita’s New Book Published

Leta Miller’s book Union Divided: Black Musicians’ Fight for Labor Equality was recently published by the University of Illinois Press. It is an in-depth account of racial segregation within the American Federation of Musicians. Broad in scope and rich in detail, Union Divided illuminates the complex working world of unionized Black musicians and the AFM’s journey to racial inclusion.

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Noah Lucé’s Production Wins Award

Noah Lucé's (Lecturer in PPD) production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing won Best Theatre Production of 2023 from the Monterey County Weekly. Lucé set the production in the Hollywood Canteen circa the 1940's and featured PPD Alumni Abbi Coomes and Xander Young. 

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Jennifer Parker Featured Presenter at Imagining America National Gathering

Jennifer Parker, Professor, Art, and founding director of OpenLab, presented Sensing the Wrack: The Symbiotic Relationship between the Oceans and Humans, a creative field research project at the Imagining America National Gathering, an annual convening of public scholars, artists, designers, students, and cultural organizers who are addressing the most pressing issues of our time. The gathering offered participants a three-day immersive experience in which to connect, dialogue, learn, and strategize around the ways to build new knowledge and inspire collective imagination toward transformative education and action.

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Film & Digital Media Alumna’s Film Screened at Small File Media Festival

FDM undergraduate alumna Frances Horwitz’s film Who? was screened at the opening of the Small File Media Festival in Vancouver, Canada. The film was developed in FILM 171S: Experimenting with Small File Media class taught by Ph.D. Candidate Marilia Kaisar. Who? explores the avatar body and navigates the obstruction and distortion that the digital age places upon us. “In this piece, my character inhabits several different types of bodies— monster bodies, animal bodies, etc., all of which I am trying on in an attempt to dispossess from my human self. My questions in making this film were: Which bodies allow for freedom from social convention?”

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Sir Isaac Julien Honored at American Academy in Rome 2023 New York Gala

The American Academy in Rome 2023 New York Gala recently awarded Sir Isaac Julien, Distinguished Professor of the Arts, filmmaker, installation artist and their 2016 Resident, with an honorary medal. He also currently has a large survey exhibition in K21 Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany that reveals the breadth of his groundbreaking oeuvre from its emergence in the 1980s to the present.

Christopher Mallett Featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Continuing lecturer in Music-Guitar, Christopher Mallett’s album, Justin Holland: Guitar Works and Arrangements was highlighted in Acoustic Guitar magazine. The recording focuses on Black classical guitarist, Justin Holland. Mallett breathes new life into music that has languished since Holland’s passing more than a century ago. “This project has been dear to my heart for many years, and I am excited to share it with the world,” Mallett says. The album is currently under consideration for a Grammy nomination.

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Marina Magalhães at CounterPulse in San Francisco

CounterPulse Theater in San Francisco hosted dance-maker Marina Magalhães, Assistant Professor of Dance at UC Santa Cruz, and a select group of collaborators on Oct. 27-28 to engage in the generative body practices of her Creative Capital Award-winning project, Body as a Crossroads. This process laboratory allowed the dancers to share creative space without the pressures of “productivity”, and serve as a curated & care-full way for Magalhães to begin integrating with the larger Bay Area community.

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Mahshid Modares, Film and Digital Media Ph.D. Candidate, Interviewed by Best Film Awards

Film and Digital Media (FDM) Social Documentation alumna and third-year FDM Ph.D. student, Mahshid Modares, was interviewed by Best Film Awards in London for her second documentary, Sanctions on Us (May 2023). The film won Best Human Rights Short at the Nashville Independent Filmmakers Festival (Summer 2023) and Best Documentary Film at the Indobali International Film Festival in Indonesia (Summer 2023). Her first film, Sanctions on the Sky, won Best Human Rights Film at the Berlin Shorts Film Festival (Spring 2023). And, Athens International Art Film Festival published a review on Sanctions on the Sky in August 2023.

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Karolina Karlic’s Unseen California at New York City’s Penumbra Foundation

Associate Professor of Art, Karolina Karlic’s arts research initiative, Unseen California, opens a group exhibition of new works at New York City’s Penumbra FoundationField notes from Unseen California: Aspen Mays, Dionne Lee, Karolina Karlic, Mercedes Dorame and Tarrah Krajnak. The exhibition is on view through January 2, 2024.

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Russell Rodríguez Awarded Américo Paredes Prize

Russell Rodríguez, Assistant Professor of Music, has recently been selected for the prestigious Américo Paredes Prize. The Paredes Prize recognizes exemplary achievements that build upon Paredes’ cross-disciplinary, socially engaged legacy which recognizes excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies. Américo Paredes (1915–1999), a leading scholar in folklore and Greater Mexico studies, worked relentlessly throughout his life, in the words of Olga Najera-Ramirez, “to better understand, represent, and respect the rights, lives, and culture of US Latinas and Latinos.”

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Sundance 2024 Feature Film Producers Track Application

The 2024–2025 Feature Film Producers Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Producers Lab, year-round mentorship from a dedicated industry mentor, film industry networking opportunities, professional development and project advancement strategy workshops, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute staff. The program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolve their communication and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film. Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 3, 2024, 6 p.m. MT

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ACRE Summer Artist Residency Program Southwest Wisconsin; Deadline: November 20, 2023

Open to emerging visual artists, sound artists, musicians, performers, writers, and curators, the program provides artists with the opportunity to expand their individual practices and take part in optional programming. Set on 1,000 acres of wetland, hills, and farmland, the residency facilities include workspaces, a screen-printing studio, wood shop, ceramics studio, fibers studio, art & tech facility, and a sound studio.

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Alchemy Art Center 2024 Artist Residency Program

Alchemy’s AIR program is a unique opportunity to live in an immersive arts community on San Juan Island, connect with the wider SJI community via teaching and outreach activities, and have focused time to create art in an environment that supports collaboration, cross-pollination, and innovation. Programs include a Teaching Artist Residency, Artists in Community Artist Residency, and a Special Projects Artist Residency.

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WomenArts is dedicated to increasing visibility and opportunities for diverse women artists in all art forms. They share news about trailblazing women artists and gender parity activists through the WomenArts Blog and their e-newsletters. They also have a comprehensive funding resource webpage.

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Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Equity

The Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Equity (ADFEE) is dedicated to supporting the dissemination of student research. Qualifying projects must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This fund is supported entirely through the generosity of our donors, and remains open as long as funding is available. Funds are administered through the Office of the Dean of Arts. Applications are reviewed each quarter. Fall quarter deadline: November 16, 2023. Decisions will follow within two weeks.

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Arts Research Institute (ARI) — Funding Available

The Arts Research Institute administers a number of grant programs that support arts research and practice, visiting artists, and collaborative interdisciplinary arts-based research across the UC Santa Cruz campus. Funding is available for faculty, students, visiting artists, and research.

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Lakas Shimizu Memorial Scholarship Award for Students in the Arts

Lakas Shimizu was a gentle warrior, a deeply caring, generous, and empathetic young man who had a gift for drawing people together. Lakas unexpectedly passed away at the tender age of eight. In his memory, his family—parents Dan Shimizu and Celine Parreñas Shimizu, brother Bayan Shimizu, and grandfather Robert Shimizu—established a scholarship at UC Santa Cruz. The scholarship honors Lakas’ spirit by supporting students in the arts who engage in artistic and creative scholarly practice, and who organize people together to make an impact for inclusion and equity.

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Join our events

All events at

November 15

Emeriti Lecture: Paul Whitworth

Recital Hall (UCSC)

November 16

Sesnon Salon

History of Arts & Visual Culture

Porter Koi Pond (UCSC)

November 16

Punk Rock, Social Change, and Anti-Racism

Institute of the Arts & Sciences (Santa Cruz)

November 16-19

Eurydice by Sara Ruhl

Mainstage (UCSC)

November 17

UCSC students, staff, faculty are invited

Concert: Ken Corday

Recital Hall (UCSC)

November 17

Film screening: Il Moro

Digital Arts & New Media Bldg (UCSC)

November 21

Concert: UCSC Orchestra

Recital Hall (UCSC)


December 1

Theater: Anthony Michael Jefferson

Institute of the Arts & Sciences (Santa Cruz)

December 2

Concert Choir & Wind Ensemble

Recital Hall (UCSC)

December 3

Family opera: "Amahl and the Night Visitors"

Recital Hall (UCSC)

December 4

Open rehearsal: Gamelan Ensembles

Recital Hall (UCSC)

December 8

Art Open Studios

Baskin Visual Arts Center

December 9

Chamber Singers

Recital Hall (UCSC)

December 10

Jazz Ensembles & Big Band

Recital Hall (UCSC)

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