Riverside to get a school devoted to the arts downtown

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By David Morris

By David Morris

Musicians and video game enthusiasts can now look towards Riverside City College for various college level courses being developed at the new Riverside School for the Arts.

Activity and construction are progressing elsewhere at RCC. Students are looking forward to a new parking structure adjacent to the Digital Library and the A.G. Quadrangle is receiving a reconstructive facelift.

While a few blocks away on the corner of University Avenue and Fairmont Street, just off of Market Street, faculty are looking at developing a facility to accommodate an arising program of Arts New Media.

Carolyn Quin, dean for the Riverside School for the Arts, feels that Arts New Media is a new frontier for performance and arts, one that RCC can not pass up.

Riverside School for the Arts is slated for opening in 2008 through partnerships with six educational systems; RCCD, University of California Riverside, University of Redlands, La Sierra University, Riverside Unified School District, and Nuview Union School District. Riverside School for the Arts is expecting to enroll 2,000 students when it opens.

The Riverside School for the Arts downtown campus is designed to be a three-story, 80,000 square foot facility. It was originally estimated to cost $37.8 million, but according to Quin that number is expected to double.

She credits the elevated figure to rising development and equipment costs. Some of the money are coming from Measure C and a $10 million endowment.

The building will be the focal point for collaborative projects among students and instructors. White Park located behind it will be utilized for projects as well.

Culinary, dance and video game design are just a small portion of the programs that are being considered for the RSA.

Riverside School for the Arts developments are currently in phase I, which is curriculum development and implementation. One program from Riverside School for the Arts that is being taught at the Riverside Campus is Introduction to Playwriting, English 108, taught by Cynthia Morrill.

According to Quin, the property has not been acquired yet, however, the top priority is working on the curriculum.

Riverside School for the Arts planners are slowly moving into phase II which will usher in writing and teaching new courses to faculty, establishing the Arts New Media department, integrate more courses and preparing a booklet to publicize Riverside School for the Arts’ course offerings.

“It is really needed, there are so many choices in Los Angeles but not here,” said professor Val Limar Jansen.

Jansen continues that RCC needs to offer more opportunities here for students of theater, dance, film and music.

Riverside School for the Arts was first dreamed of 10 years ago by Chancellor of RCC Salvatore Rotella.

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