Arts Division Newsletter


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The Art of Change podcast introduces new Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Professor of Music and Director of DANM Karlton Hester

From the Dean of the Arts

Celine Parreñas Shimizu

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January 2022

Dear Arts Community,

Welcome to the Winter Quarter and our first newsletter of 2022!

In the face of so much uncertainty, so many share worry and anxiety as well as low morale. I am thankful for all the resources we have on campus to help all of our faculty, staff and students. Thank you to all for contending with the sudden reorganization that the prioritization of safety at UCSC entails. I send encouragement to our Arts community in the hopeful spirit of the new year.

This newsletter contains both the adjustment that comes with the derailment of plans and events, a celebration of our community’s achievements, and the creative ways we offer opportunities in the face of constraint.

In imagining the future, I remind our students that the Arts Professional Pathways Internships Scholarships program and the Arts Deans Fund for Excellence and Equity are now in place for your applications. Our creative industries are known for their inequitable access and long-standing exclusions which we are working hard to change, so we can have better art that comes from inclusion.

This week, along with new Arts Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Professor Karlton Hester, I met with our department leaders as we reviewed the DEI plans for each unit of the division. Our collective efforts are an invitation for everyone to participate. As I shared at our meeting, we will never regret asking people to rise to the occasion of justice. Please join us in our efforts for DEI launching this year!

With hope,

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email me: artsdean@ucsc.edu

Photo: Carolyn Lagattuta

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People in the Arts


Featured Student

Darren Wallace

Graduate Student, Film and Digital Media

Darren Wallace, graduate student, Ph.D. program Film and Digital Media, recently screened his work at the Digital Arts and New Media open house. One of those films, Cinema as Ritual is, as he describes, a technoshamanic altar call retelling the social iniquities of life in the U.S. during 2020 (COVID-19, West Coast wildfires, anti-Black state violence). It is intended to be experienced as an ecstatic narrative purge or cleanse that awakens audience members desensitized by our wantonly violent conditions.The triptych structure of the film takes the audience through the shamanic initiation cycles of Death, Liminal Space, and Rebirth.


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Featured Faculty

Robin Hunicke

Digital Arts and New Media

Professor Robin Hunicke (Digital Arts and New Media) has been working on two fashion-themed experiences at her company @funomena which currently employs several UCSC Art and Design: Games and Playable Media alumni, including Shoshanna Bortner who was in AGPM's first graduating class. The first was a runway event held in conjunction with the British Fashion Council—they gave the first-ever digital fashion award to a Roblox Creator who worked with Gucci (all sales went to a non-profit). Roblox also had a partnership with Ralph Lauren which was covered in Digiday. Watch Ralph Lauren's Winter Escape on Roblox.



Featured Alumnus

Tadashi Nakamura

Social Documentation, 2008

Congratulations to Film and Digital Media, SocDoc alumnus (2008) Tadashi Nakamura for being awarded a Sundance Documentary Fund production grant for his film Third Act. On its surface, Third Act is a biopic that explores the role of his father, Robert Nakamura, considered the “Godfather of Asian American film.” But with Robert's diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, the film poses a complex question: how can a father and son say goodbye? Current SocDoc student Janet Chen was also on the producing team.


Arts in the News

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Dean Celine Op-ed in SF Chronicle:

The Danger of the Rampant, Elite Fetishism at Lowell High and Beyond

The focus on elite universities at places like Lowell too often serves as a corrosive force that causes these students to overlook potentially invaluable educational opportunities.

Link to more…

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A.M. Darke's Groundbreaking Work Featured in Vox

The Open Source Afro Hair Library, slated to launch on Juneteenth 2023, will be the gaming world’s first free database of 3D-modeled Black hairstyles.

Link to more…

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Rydell Visual Arts Fellowships Awarded to UCSC Faculty and Staff

Congratulations to assistant professor Anna Friz who has been awarded a 2022 Rydell Fellowship. Works by Ann Altstatt, Cid Pearlman and Edward Ramirez, three of the recipients of the 2020-2021 Rydell Fellowship, are on view at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz.

Join our events


February 1–March 19 (in person)

Just Futures: Black Quantum Futurism, Arthur Jafa, and Martine Syms

A video exhibition of work by Black Quantum Futurism, Arthur Jafa, and Martine Syms. Curated by Professor

T.J. Demos of the History of Art and Visual Culture Department.

Link to more…


February 4 (online)

Planetary Indigestion

The launch of a year-long series of conversations and performative lectures about food, ecology, and biotech-nology between the Center for Genomic Gastronomy (CGG), UC Santa Cruz faculty, and expert guests.

Link to more…

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February 8 (in person)

Screening: ”The White Album”

by Arthur Jafa

Collaged from found and original video, the film shifts the gaze to white people and whiteness exposing Black-white relations in America. Hourly screenings beginning at 9:00am.

Link to more…

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Opens February 18 (in person)

”Da Kink in My Hair” by Trey Anthony

UCSC's African American Theater Arts Troupe presents seven in-person performances of Trey Anthony's play set in a hair salon. Directed by Don Williams.

Link to more…


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Sesnon Underground Microgrant

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery announces Sesnon Underground microgrants. Student artists whose proposals are accepted are invited to apply to receive up to $150 to support their exhibition installation or art practice.

Link to more…


Filmmakers: Apply Now to Open Call

Submit your work-in-progress documentary for co-production support. The deadline for receiving all application materials is Friday, February 11, at 11:59 p.m. PT. This will be the only Open Call application window offered in 2022.

Link to more…


Career Opportunity at the Arts Division

Now accepting applications for Executive Assistant

to the Dean

Link to more…

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Funding for Student Success

The Arts Professional Pathways Internships Scholarships and the Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Equity are both open and accepting applications from Arts undergraduate and graduate students. These funds are part of our Student Success program in the Arts and accept donor contributions! Arts students are encouraged to review the criteria and apply!

Link to scholarship…

Link to fund…

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Student Internships

The UCSC Arts Division is committed to student success, our internships program is designed to ensure equity, access and opportunity. Apply now!

Link to more…

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Call for entries for "Still Life"

Sebastopol Center for the Arts is accepting entries for their upcoming exhibition "Still Life." Submission deadline is January 17.

Link to more…

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Quick Grants Webinar on Jan. 19

Join California Humanities for a free informational webinar about Quick Grants. Learn more about what makes a competitive application and ask questions.

Register in advance…

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