What We Are
We are UCLA’s public arts unit for the presentation and scholarship associated with performing arts. The Hammer Museum and the Fowler Museum along with the UCLA Film & Television Archive are our colleague organizations within UCLA. Collectively we serve both the campus community and the greater public through our respective missions and ongoing programming. Center for the Art of Performance is organized within the School of Art & Architecture, and we are located in Royce Hall.
Specifically, we curate and facilitate the direct exposure to the art of performance by supporting acclaimed artists who create extraordinary work in the dedicated practices of contemporary dance, theater and music, in addition to emerging genres. We present their recent works, we add expertise to the creative and scholarly contexts of their artistry, and we do so as a powerful part of UCLA’s mission and legacy.
What We Do
We curate an annual season of live performance in all disciplines with particular emphasis on contemporary genres. Our annual season happens between September and May, and offers audiences a wide range of exceptional performances by today’s leading artists from around the world. We support artistic vision and continuing accomplishment by providing resources, exceptional production values, and developing audiences for the work of today’s leading artists. We build awareness through creative dialogues and by connecting each featured artist to the UCLA scholarly community, press and arts writers, our patrons, donors and subscribers and frequently offer master classes, artist talks, informal salons and specialized residencies designed to support creative research and development. Leaving no stone unturned, we also offer performances that enable public school aged young people to attend – the program area for schools is called Design for Sharing. We also work with UCLA students, primarily through the Student Committee for the Arts. SCA is a student organization that has been active for more than 50 years on the UCLA campus. Together we support student discounts, programming opportunities and advocacy that is generated to enhance the experiences of every UCLA student.
Why We Do
Contemporary performing arts are as vital to culture as books, paintings, architecture, design and education. Because the artists who create music, dance, and theater do not typically generate “objects” the Center is highly engaged in the most immediate new work that is developed in the here and now. We are responsive to the creative interests of artists and their collaborators, and we believe that the performing arts are a vital and expansive area of our incredible creative heritage.
While many organizations are dedicated to particular disciplines, conventions or particular cultural traditions – we program across a wide spectrum of contemporary artistry in order to expand the fence line of the familiar, bring artists to heightened public attention, and remind one another what it feels like to soar.
How We Do
There are myriad details that go into the successful presentation of a live performance, which are ongoing behind the scenes.
We travel extensively to see performances and meet with artists in their studio settings; we have ongoing discussions with colleague institutions nationally and internationally in order to collaboratively develop touring possibilities. We engage with foundation initiatives and national service organizations that support the work of performance-based artists, and are often in discussion with international support agencies that can partner with us to present the artists from their respective countries.
We analyze, plan and assess the technical, administrative and creative needs of each project so that the artistic intent is supported. This includes extensive discussions with agents, managers and producers on creating the “best conditions” possible for the artist and their work. We frequently procure the visas necessary for internationally based artists, provide transportation and accommodations for visiting artists, and we develop educational materials and experiences in order to connect the featured artists to the students and academic areas of UCLA.
We generate marketing and design collateral for each of the projects, we create specialized access points for our members and supporters, and we are actively in partnership with public schools around L.A. to bring students to campus through the DFS program. Where possible we also seek to document and archive the work that we do with artists, building a lasting asset for the future. We actively raise money to support our ongoing operations and programming and ensure that the box office income (where applicable) is not out of reach for the diverse public we serve.
Where We Do
We move the performances around to different venues, and most happen on the UCLA campus and in particular Royce Hall, The MacGowan Playhouse, and Schoenberg Concert Hall. We collaborate with other organizations around Los Angeles, so sometimes our programming takes place off campus too. While Royce is the place we call home, any of the places we journey to become home by curtain time!