FREE New Activities Slated For Carpenter Performing Arts Center Arts For Life 2014-15 Season

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The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Long Beach announces the events and activities for the Arts for Life education program for the 2014-15 season.  The comprehensive arts education program will continue to provide free activities for all ages, from Long Beach elementary students to the CSULB campus and Greater Long Beach community.

“More than 60% of Arts for Life participants last year had never been to a Carpenter Center event before!” explained Executive Director Michele Roberge. “We are thrilled to offer these arts activities to everyone in our community. As arts presenters on a state university campus, we take our role as a community resource very seriously and are honored to provide enriching, exciting and entertaining paths for people of all ages to learn about and share the joy of the performing arts.”

For 2014-15, Arts for Life will offer a variety of new activities to the public.  On Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, Arts for Life will present the documentary film John Fleck Is Who You Want Him To Be.  In 1990, the legendary radical gay performance artist and actor, John Fleck, became famous as one of the “NEA 4” in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving freedom of speech and charges of obscenity.  The film intercuts raw archival video and current footage with compelling interviews in a kaleidoscopic portrayal of this often misrepresented and maligned artist—which includes footage from performances at the New Museum in New York, CSULB, and other venues.  On Tuesday, Oct 16, 2014, there will be a concert of solo pieces by voice and instrumental students from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music with student artists selected by Bob Cole Conservatory faculty in a rigorous competition.  The U.S. Air Force Concert Band of the Golden West will perform a free concert on Monday, May 18, 2015 of American standards and patriotic music.

Also new to the 2014-15 Arts for Life season will be activities that go hand-in-hand with season performances presented at Carpenter Center to enhance the experience and understanding of a variety of artists and events.  First will be three activities ahead of each event in the 2014-15 Dance Series.  The Dance Process starts on Tuesday, Sept. 23 with Technology in Performance, in advance of the David Roussève/REALITY performance of Stardust at the theatre.  The award-winning choreographer Roussève and filmmaker Cari Ann Shim Sham will discuss dance and technology, screening a short film they created together in Indonesia called Two Seconds After Laughter, and highlighting the technology involved in Stardust.  Next will be Making Ballet Contemporary on Thursday, Jan 29, 2015, with noted critic, arts journalist and author Sasha Anawalt looking into the intersection of classical ballet with contemporary choreography in anticipation of Restless Creature featuring classical ballerina Wendy Whelan at Carpenter Center.  Lastly, Patrick Makuakane—artistic director of Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu—will discuss the traditions of hula and the evolution of his own unique style, hula mua in Ethnic Traditions Become New on Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015.  On Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, the Carpenter Center will screen a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary on The Nile Project—a music group with members from 11 nations boarding the Nile River including Egypt, Uganda and Ethiopia—ahead of their season performance at the theatre on Feb. 5.  Additionally, Arts for Life will launch a landmark residency with The Nile Project in various classrooms on the CSULB campus.  On Mar. 9, 2015, acclaimed lecturer, comedy-writer, and author David Misch (Funny: The Book) will look at the history of musical satire focusing on Gilbert & Sullivan, their ancestors and offspring in advance of H.M.S. Pinafore on Mar. 22.  Lastly, prior to the season performance of Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble on Saturday, May 9, 2015, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music faculty member Dr. Johannes Muller-Stosch will present a history of the renowned ensemble with a short discussion of the evening’s repertoire.  For more information and ticket prices to Carpenter Center’s season events, please visit

Two popular Arts for Life activities returning this season are Shakespeare Aloud and Community Cinema.  Shakespeare Aloud will continue to offer a free reading of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, one per month until the entire canon is complete.  On Sept. 27, 2014, Shakespeare Aloud returns with The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in CSULB’s Department of Theatre Arts.  Attendees can participate as readers—no experience or audition required—or as audience members.  Community Cinema—a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens—will return on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 with Makers: Women in Comedy.  Trailblazing women talk about the competitive, male-dominated profession of comedy from the sitcoms of the 70s to modern day movies led by popular contemporary female comedians.  Additional film titles for Community Cinema will be announced later in the summer, and will discuss social issues such as poverty, racism, equal rights, and more.

Also returning to Carpenter Center for two free concerts is the 67-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra conducted by Mitch Glickman.  On Sunday, Sept. 28, the orchestra will perform a 90th Anniversary “Rhapsody in Blue” Concert with soloist Bill Cunliffe, and will return on Sunday, Jan. 18 joined by some of today’s leading jazz artists in commissioned works including George Duke’s “Dark Wood: Concerto for Bass and Orchestra.”  Finally, Carpenter Center is pleased to announce the return of Sparking Curiosity on Monday, May 4, 2015 to Arts for Life as Long Beach high school sophomores and juniors, led by CSULB Theatre Arts faculty member Andrea Caban and mentored by CSULB Department of Theatre Arts students, will explore of community issues in Long Beach—interviewing residents from both a personal and historical perspective, culminating in an original performance at the Carpenter Center.

Carpenter Center’s successful ongoing education program Classroom Connections will once again be a part of Arts for Life for the 2014-15 season.  Now celebrating its 16th anniversary, Classroom Connections goes beyond exposing students to performing arts—it brings professional performing artists into local elementary classrooms to introduce the process of making their art, and then welcomes the students into the theatre to see their finished product, a full performance. Artists included in this season’s Classroom Connections are RhetOracle Dance Company, Los Angeles Opera, and Gregg Young and the 2nd Street Band.

All events are free to attend. Arts for Life is generously funded by Arts Council for Long Beach, Bess J. Hodges Foundation, California Presenters, Long Beach Rotary Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, School for You Foundation, Target stores, Westaf, and generous individual donors.  For ticketing, reservations, activity location information, or more details on Arts for Life, contact the Carpenter Center Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000 or visit online at

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