In an earlier blog, I drew your attention to the fact that CSU, Bakersfield has crossed the 10,000 student threshold. As the student population grows, so do our campus facility needs. Arts and Humanities hopes the campus will select our building proposal for a Media and Performing Arts Center as the next major new facility.
Here’s a brief summary of how the Media and Performing Arts Center would serve our campus and community:
The Media and Performing Arts Center will be a two-story building facing Stockdale Highway with a state-of-the-art Communications facility on the second floor and multiple performance spaces on the first floor. The facilities in the Center will support the Public Relations, Journalism, Digital Media, Film, General Education, Theatre, Music, and Liberal Studies programs. The Media and Performing Arts Center will enrich university excellence by greatly expanding our ability to serve our students, support our faculty, and create beneficial partnerships with community stakeholders.
Student-run media is essential to the vitality of a university. It provides news, information, and entertainment to a campus community, engages students in their university experience, and gives real-world training to students planning media careers. Many universities have student-run radio stations, television programs, newspapers, magazines, news websites, filmmaking studios, advertising firms, and more. The Media and Performing Arts Center enables a converged student media operation that will house our Communications faculty and incorporate all platforms under one roof.
Highlights of the second floor Media operations include a 30-station computer lab that functions as a classroom and production lab, a video studio classroom, a business office for The Runner Media Group (newspaper, website, online radio station, and online news video), and a business office for the student-run public relations firm. It also will house the radio station’s studio, a sound recording room, equipment storage room, and offices for faculty. In this experiential learning environment, students will gain a variety of skills across platforms as they train to enter media-related careers. The entire CSUB campus and the surrounding community will also benefit from the variety of media opportunities provided by this operation.
The first floor of the Media and Performing Arts Center includes a black box theatre, film screening room, concession area, practice rooms, and an 800-seat concert hall, which could be expanded to 1400 seats with additional private funding. The State University Administrative Manual (SUAM) under Section VI - Standards for Campus Development Programs specifies two performance space requirements/entitlements. This new facility will allow us to achieve the vision set forth in CSU Auditorium Standards and Board of Trustees policy on the Provision of Large Auditoria on CSU Campuses, which states that CSU campuses should have a 1200 seat large auditorium. The CSU Facilities guidelines also lists five performance/rehearsal spaces for campuses over 5000 FTE which maintain fine arts programs, and the Media and Performing Arts Center will make this vision a reality.
The Center will allow CSUB to become a beacon for the arts and humanities in this area of the Central Valley. This building is necessary to accomplish our mission of providing excellence, creating partnerships, and building community by providing facilities of the highest quality to
train a new generation of performers (artists & musicians) and teachers, and to satisfy the current and future demands in our region and throughout the state. The Media and Performing Arts Center will help us raise our profile in the entire region and help us attract, retain, and graduate talented students from Kern County and beyond.
You can read the full proposal and give your feedback at the Academic Affairs Facilities Master Plan Proposals page.
Dr. Robert Frakes
Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities