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University of Southern California (USC)


Location: University Park Campus, Los Angeles CA, 90089
(Downtown LA)
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Hour: Weekdays: 8:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Website: http://www.usc.edu
Links: Events Calendar


Michael Tilson Thomas. Frank Gehry. Athol Fugard. Robert Zemeckis. Pepe Romero. T.C. Boyle. George Lucas. The Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ron Howard. Jon Jerde. The Thelonious Monk Institute. Steven Spielberg. The Getty Museum . It's no coincidence that these and many other world-class artists and arts institutions are connected to the University of Southern California. The secret to USC's success in the arts lies in collaboration – in arts education, in presentation of the visual and performing arts, in the restoration of historical buildings, in the development of new art forms, and in cultivating the next generation of world-class artists.

USC's commitment to working with leading artists and institutions dates back to the 1880s. In that decade, the university launched its first professional school with the Department of Music, and English painter William Lees Judson established the School of Fine Arts. In 1929, USC worked with Cecil B. DeMille and the Motion Picture Academy to launch the nation's first film school. Seventy years later, the philosophy remains the same: Get the best to educate and cultivate the best.

The university has played host to a cultural renaissance that each year brings hundreds of concerts, theatrical events, visual arts exhibits, lectures, service- and outreach-oriented programs in the arts. For example, USC has:

  • Established groundbreaking collaborations with renowned cultural institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Japanese American National Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre, among others.

  • Created the Classical Public Radio Network—a collaboration between KUSC and Colorado Public Radio, with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

  • Brought the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz to the USC Thornton School of Music.

  • Mobilized film industry leaders to fund the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, the nation's first and only fully digital training facility for student filmmakers.

  • Hosted gallery exhibits of emerging local artists.

A distinguished faculty that includes, author T.C. Boyle, journalist Michael Parks, film composer Elmer Bernstein, architect Pierre Koenig, and pianist Daniel Pollack, as well as guest artists such as architect Frank O. Gehry, director Robert Zemeckis and poet and novelist Sandra Cisneros keeps arts education at USC relevant and innovative.

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