After one canceled session and one virtual session, CSU Summer Arts is back at Fresno State will a full lineup of fun and enriching public events. The series of events kicks off on Monday night with Fresno State’s own acclaimed saxophonist Benjamin Boone in collaboration with two-time United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and other guest artists.
For the 17th time, CSU Summer Arts is being hosted in person at Fresno State, from June 27 to July 24. Summer Arts was hosted at Fresno State from 1999 through 2011 and returned to the Central Valley in 2017 after being held at CSU Monterey Bay from 2012-16. The program wasn’t offered during the COVID shutdown in 2020 and last year was exclusively online.
Benjamin Boone presents “What if…”
7 p.m. Monday, June 27 at the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
Join jazz saxophonist and Fresno local Benjamin Boone for an evening of music, poetry, and more. Boone has invited a legendary lineup of guests for this event including former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and a cadre of fine musicians.
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 at the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Dance documentary film presentation and discussion. Ballet BC is a bold and innovative Canadian dance company. This event will feature a presentation of clips from their recent documentary, as well as a discussion about working as a member of a dance company. Company members Emily Chessa and Zenon Zubyk will present.
7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29 at the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
Yannick Jacquet’s work mixes digital media arts with traditional arts techniques. He is one of the founders of the Antivj visual label, pioneer of projection mapping projects.
Art > Anthropocene < Action
7 p.m. Thursday, June 30 at the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
A visual art lecture featuring the history and work of three visual artists: Mark Cooley, Ron Graziani, and Diran Lyons. Each has work that is reflective of social and environmental issues and incorporates interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives.
An evening of Saxophone
7 p.m. Friday, July 1 at the Concert Hall | Tickets
Enjoy an evening of classical and contemporary saxophone music featuring a roster of cutting-edge artists including members of the chamber ensemble Capitol Quartet.
11 a.m. Saturday, July 2 at the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Anne Lin is a Los Angeles-based sculptor in licensed character art, theme park, and special event props. Her early sculpting career in toy prototyping maquettes for companies like Sanrio and Disney led to her current career as a large-scale scenic artist on projects like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This lecture will cover how Lin became a sculptor, her work in different mediums and for different types of events, and with Disney.
Eliza Vedar presents Hear for a Good Time
2 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
Eliza Vedar is a composer, sound designer, music director, and pianist. This event features and exploration in integrating influence from classical music, folk music, musical theatre, and other art genres as part of an interdisciplinary approach towards theatrical sound design and composing music as part of a musical theatre writing duo.
4:15 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Television writing discussion/lecture with award-winning writer and producer Oliver Goldstick. He is currently co-executive producer of the Netflix smash Bridgerton and has multiple other credits as producer and/or showrunner of programs such as Pretty Little Liars, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Coach.
Bossy Flyer presents THREE
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 5 in the John Wright Theatre | Tickets<
Inspired by Jean Paul Sartre’s existential masterpiece No Exit, THREE places our unsuspecting trio in an isolated room where they await their eternal fates. In a wordless adaptation, acrobatics replace language as the three discover they’re in Hell, and their torturers are each other. As Sartre writes, they will discover that “hell is other people.”
Another Evening of Saxophone
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 at the Concert Hall | Tickets
A second evening of classical and contemporary saxophone music featuring a roster of cutting-edge artists including members of the chamber ensemble Capitol Quartet.
Student Showcase Presentations
Friday, July 8 | Free, no ticket required
- 4 p.m. – Contemporary Dance with Ballet BC Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
- 7:30 p.m. – The Art of Classical Saxophone Student Showcase – Concert Hall, Music Building
- 9 p.m. – Video Projection Mapping in 3D Space Student Showcase – Music 127, Music Building
Student Showcase Presentations
Saturday, July 9 | Free, no ticket required
- 11 a.m. – Art>Anthropocene<Action and Creature Workshop for Animation Student Showcases – Conley Art Gallery, Conley Art Building
- 2 p.m. – Writing for Television: The Writer’s Room Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
- 4:15 p.m. – Immersive Theatre and Social Justice Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
Urban Bush Women
7 p.m. Monday, July 11 at the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
Summer Arts welcomes the return of the legendary Urban Bush Woman dance company. The program features two pieces:
- Women’s Resistance fuses power and grace in a call to collective action around truths that bind us all
- I Don’t Know but I Been Told…If You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old is an energetic mash-up of different dance forms that came out of Black neighborhoods and features a live drummer.
Katey Schultz and Venita Blackburn
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Reading. Katey Schultz is an author and teacher who also founded Maximum Impact, a transformative mentoring service for creative writers. Venita Blackburn is the founder of the literary nonprofit Live, Write which provides free creative writing workshops for communities of color.
Virtual Production Technology Synethesia
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 in the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Join Shaun Foster, Director of 3D Digital Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology for a story of acceleration, learning, convergence, and creative potential for virtual production and how it connects multiple technologies to allow acceleration of visual effects workflows and new creative filmmaking possibilities!
Punk Rock and Magic: The Artwork of Midwest Pressed
7 p.m. Thursday, July 14 in the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Printmaking discussion and lecture. Midwest Pressed is a Cedar Falls, Iowa-based printmaking company founded by Aaron Wilson and Tim Dooley. Wilson and Dooley’s merging of high and low aesthetics are created with generative screenprinting processes and other layered graphic media. The duo will discuss the evolution of their work, focusing on recent projects that include printmaking and interactive sound installations.
7 p.m. Friday, July 15 in the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
A fun-filled and dynamic lecture and demonstration about single sword stage combat. The featured artists will demonstrate and discuss the history of how simple choreography can be used to tell some of the greatest stories of stage and screen. They will also showcase some of the most famous examples of swashbuckling used on film.
4 p.m. Saturday, July 16 in the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
José Figueroa is an artist working in drawing, photography, video and sculpture. He is a keen observer of life known for his playful documentation of his surroundings. For this talk, Figueroa shares observations and reflections on his art practice.
An Evening of Afro–Caribbean Jazz
7 p.m. Saturday, July 16 in the Concert Hall | Tickets
Get ready to wriggle in your seat and tap your feet! An evening of Afro-Caribbean and Latin jazz featuring John Santos, Ernesto Mazar Kindelán, Erick Peralta, Carlos Caro, Brian Andres, Miguelito Martinez, and Jamie Dubberly.
7 p.m. Monday, July 18 at the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges traditional and contemporary techniques to develop unique and innovative approaches to printmaking. His prints explore issues of the sublime, atmosphere, and fluid mechanics. Yamamoto has worked at many scales, from small and meticulously engraved copper plates to large monotypes.
Virtual Prooduction: Why Now?
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 in the Conley Lecture Hall | Tickets
Sheiva Khalily, project manager for Lux Machina Consulting, will give a detailed exploration of the history of virtual production and how multiple technological achievements and industry changes have made now the perfect time for the rise of virtual volumetric production in film and television.
Mark Arax and Armen Bacon
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 in the John Wright Theatre | Tickets
Reading. Mark Arax’s stories have been turned into a song by Bruce Springsteen, a movie about the boy runners from McFarland, and a state law banning the mistreatment of farm workers in the field. Fresnan and Summer Arts alum Armen Bacon writes (and lives) with uncensored passion, heart and sense of urgency. Her words have been praised as “pulling us all a little closer to each other.” Bacon will read essay excerpts from her debut memoir, Griefland: An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss, and Unlikely Friendship, and her newest work, Daring to Breathe.
Student Showcase Presentations
Friday, July 22 | Free, no tickets required
- 4 p.m. – Dance and Identity with Urban Bush Women Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
- 7:30 p.m. – Creating Digital Worlds in Game Engines for Film, Virtual Production, and Entertainment – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
Student Showcase Presentations
Saturday, July 23 | Free, no tickets required
- 11 a.m. – Off the Wall: Alternative Print Methods and Forms and Master Painting Class Student Showcases – Conley Art Gallery, Conley Art Building
- 2 p.m. – Writing from Life: Creative Ways to Tell Your Stories Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
- 4 p.m. – Hollywood Swashbuckling & the Art of Victorian Swordplay Student Showcase – John Wright Theatre, Speech Arts Building
- 7:30 p.m. – From Bomba to Timba: Afro-Caribbean Jazz in the 21st Century – Concert Hall, Music Building
Since 1985, CSU Summer Arts has assembled dozens of the world’s top creatives to teach students and hold public performances. Each summer, they produce live events spanning the spectrum of dance, media, music, theater, visual art and design, and writing.