News

Steven Schick and Luis Alberto Urrea

From Borders to Bridges

Work of UC San Diego Literature alumnus highlighted in Department of Music's Reed Family Concert

Called a “border writer more interested in bridges,” Luis Alberto Urrea received a welcome homecoming the first week of February, when the UC San Diego alumnus returned to partake in a groundbreaking music and literature festival like no other.

Now a prolific, best-selling author, the Department of Literature graduate was born in Tijuana, living the first part of his youth in Mexico before moving to San Diego after a serious wave of tuberculosis swept through the city in the late 1950s. Hit hard by infection himself, Urrea slowly recovered and the family stayed in the United States.

Guests with Luis Urrea“To me, Tijuana was a wonderland,” Urrea told a packed house at the San Diego Central Library Feb. 1, where he was the featured guest for UC San Diego Extension’s Helen Edison Lecture Series. “It’s hard for me to express how awesome it was. It was this place where anything was possible.”

With ties throughout Mexico, he alternated school in the U.S. with long summer trips to visit extended family — sometimes taking 20-hour bus rides deep into the heart of the country. It was there, and in Tijuana, where Urrea met many of the “characters” who would fill his future books.

At first, though, drama caught his attention, and he began UC San Diego as a theater major, spurred on in part by a campus visit from Lily Tomlin in 1976. But being a writer and storyteller at heart, it was the literature department that ultimately led him to graduation day — though only after another touch of tragedy.

Read the full story on the UC San Diego News Center.

UC San Diego Arts and Humanities in the News

Using Science and Humanities to Step Back in Time
Led by Division of Arts and Humanities dean Cristina Della Coletta, Dominique Rissolo and Falko Kuester, the Turin, Italy fieldwork brings together engineering students and arts and humanities students for the betterment of both.


Faculty and Staff Step Up to Support UC San Diego
Susan Kirkpatrick, professor emerita of Spanish Literature, is creating the Kirkpatrick Literature Ph.D. Research Fund to provide research support for incoming doctoral students in the Department of Literature.


An Animated Introduction to Epicurus: What Makes Us Happy?
Included in this blog post, a 2014 Wireless Philosophy video narrated by Monte Johnson of Philosophy draws more rules for happiness from the teachings of Epicurus.


Cuyamaca College getting tuned up for international music
The Camera Lucida Piano Trio, which includes cellist Charles Curtis of Music, is mentioned.


UC San Diego's Teddy Cruz wins $100,000 Vilcek Prize
Visual Arts professor Teddy Cruz, an architect noted for his cross-border projects, has won the annual Vilcek Prize, which honors the contributions of immigrants to American culture.


The UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Othello”
Broadway World promotes the upcoming Theatre and Dance production.


Charles Mingus and “Tijuana Moods” - Helen Edison Lecture Series
Anthony Davis and Steven Schick of Music lead the conversation, streaming on UCTV.


With La Jolla Symphony, a brilliant Fiona Digney solos — and shines — on wooden chairs
From the Union-Tribune review, the Department of Music was highlighted: “The ‘It’s About Time’ festival concluded this weekend with a child’s vision of Heaven and an audacious percussion concerto that made instruments of four wooden chairs. … [Fiona] Digney’s performance was compelling and authoritative. The work demanded precise coordination between soloist and orchestra, which it received under the baton of [Steven] Schick.”


Bertram Turetzky, ace of bass for six decades, set to play his 85th birthday gig
Former Music professor Bertram Turetzky is celebrated, with current professor Mark Dresser and alumni Nathan East and Kristin Korb featured.


Abraham Galvan Appointed as VP Campus Affairs of ASUCSD
Third year Literature major Abraham Galvan was appointed on Feb. 7.


A world-premiere Huey Lewis musical is the big News at the Old Globe
The creative team includes Theatre and Dance alum Paloma Young.


Breaking Ground in Music Performance
Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla wrote about the Department of Music Reed Family Concert on his blog.


From Borders to Bridges
Work of Literature alumnus Luis Alberto Urrea is highlighted in the Department of Music Reed Family Concert.


Issues of Identity: In Conversation with Hilton Als
Pulitzer Prize-winning theater critic joins Theatre and Dance students to discuss access and mentorship.


Architect Teddy Cruz Wins $100,000 Vilcek Prize
Reported by ArtForum, Teddy Cruz of Visual Arts receives this year’s honor from the Vilcek Foundation.


A Woman's Point of View: UC San Diego art exhibit has work by 7 trailblazing female artists in La Jolla
The Visual Arts exhibition “Stories That We Tell: Art and Identity” runs through March 3 and features the work of seven groundbreaking female artists.


Lofty aspirations at UCSD
Mark Dresser of Music will take the stage at the Loft, at UC San Diego.


Percussionist Fiona Digney closes out ‘It's About Time’ festival
“I’ve always been drawn to the highly gestural aspects of percussion,” Fiona Digney, a doctoral candidate in Music, told the Union-Tribune. “We play such a wide range of instruments that we can’t use just one technique. We are moving around a lot, picking instruments up and putting them down. It’s very physical.”


Calit2's 'Ideas Performances' in La Jolla, and other shows in 2018
Theatre and Dance MFA student Aurora Lagattuta, an advocate of inter-species, has been exploring flipper consciousness through dance.


LA Phil 2018-19
Congratulations to Tina Tallon and Natacha Diels of Music on their commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, reported on in The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’ blog The Rest Is Noise. Of the 50 pieces commissioned, works by three of alumni — Carolyn Chen, Michele Lou and Steven Takasugi — and former faculty member George Lewis are included.


At UCSD, Michael Pisaro’s sonic landscapes evoke gratification, contemplation
The Music production of “asleep, forest, melody, path” is discussed in context with the larger “It’s About Time” festival.


‘Vietgone’ a funny and forceful story of love and loss at San Diego Rep
The Theatre and Dance-trained director Jesca Prudencio is praised by the Union-Tribune for her work in the latest Rep production, as well as the Times of San Diego and The La Jolla Light.


Carleton Players present Naomi Iizuka’s provocative drama
“Good Kids,” written by Theatre and Dance professor Naomi Iizuka, premieres Feb. 9 at Carleton College.


Event briefs
“Cross Winds,” is the final event in the San Diego Symphony’s “It’s About Time” Festival, curated by Music’s Steven Schick.


Making the Wall Disappear: A Stunning Live Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote a summary of Music’s performance at the border, and also included a video of the event.


UC San Diego Undergraduate Synthesizes Visual Arts, Community Engagement and Scientific Research for Health Activism
Multidisciplinary issues need multidisciplinary solutions. That’s Visual Arts minor Anika Ullah’s mantra.


The UC San Diego Presents ‘A Raisin in the Sun’
The Theatre and Dance production runs Feb. 9-17. San Diego City Beat also included the play in their event roundup.


Dual Multimedia Installations Address Sonification of Endangered Coral Reefs
Music graduate students Jacob Sundstrom, Fiona Digney and Anthony Vine, as well as Lauren Jones and Eunjeong Ko are featured.


At The Humana Festival, The Plays Are Not the Only Thing
Deborah Stein and Mara Nelson-Greenberg of Theatre and Dance are interviewed.


Issues of Identity: A Conversation with Hilton Als
In celebration of Black History Month, Theatre and Dance is pleased to announce Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and critic Hilton Als in a public event on Monday, Feb. 5 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.


'It's About Time' festival stops the clocks in brilliant concert
Steven Schick and Music are lauded in this Union-Tribune review.


Mathias Svalina: Poet, Entrepreneur, and Conjurer of Dreams
Literature’s opening Winter quarter New Writers Series event was covered by the UCSD Guardian.


Cross-border percussion concert unites U.S., Mexico musicians at Friendship Park
Music’s participation in the “It’s About Time” festival was covered by the Union-Tribune, with an interview with Steven Schick.


ArtSpot
San Diego Community Newspaper Group includes two Department of Music events in their roundup.


Contemporary Sculpture Society Presents a Solo Exhibition and Lecture
Visual Arts MFA alumnus Mike Calway-Fagen shows at the Contemporary Sculpture Society.


Cecil Lytle, Mike Wofford, Joshua White, Kei Akagi & Tobin Chodos to play 5-piano concert
“Five pianists walk into a room” starts this article on Music’s 22nd annual concert.


Culture Report: The Border Wall Is No Match for Music
Voice of San Diego’s Culture Report leads with the “It’s About Time” festival, curated by Steven Schick of Music.


Facing Budget Cuts, San Diego Arts Head Steps Down
Announced at the Jan. 26 Commission for Arts and Culture meeting, executive director Dana Springs, a Visual Arts alumna, has worked at the commission for 18 years.


Omaha native makes hand-crafted props for 'Tonight Show' right from his Bellevue workshop
Theatre and Dance alumnus Paul Pape’s in at the “Tonight Show” was through one of its production designers, a fellow student at UC San Diego.


Two UC San Diego Playwrights Selected for Prestigious New Play Festival
2018 Humana Festival to feature Theatre and Dance faculty and student, simultaneously for the first time. Theater blogger Gia on the Move covered the news as well.


Transfer Student Spotlight: Aaron Valdivia
For a new blog series featuring the experiences of 2017 Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities (PATH Summer Academy) attendees and other transfer students, current Japanese Studies major Aaron Valdivia talks about his transfer experience.


Anna Thorvaldsdottir named new Composer-in-Residence
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has named Music alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir as its next Composer-in-Residence.


Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying
Airing on UCTV, Author and Literature professor emeritus Roddey Reid traces the origins of the current toxic environment back some 30 years to a culture of abuse in the workplace, media and the political arena (video).


San Diego Theatre Week returning for a third go-round
The Theatre and Dance production of “A Raisin in the Sun” is a select offer for this year’s city-wide festival.


Cross-disciplinary Dance Performance and Installation Explores Oceanic Timescapes
Graduate students from Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance, and Music collaborate on this exhibit in the Qualcomm Institute.


The NFL Isn’t the Only Divisive Sport in America
Robert Edelman of History discusses the Democratic favorability views of the NBA.


La Jolla's Best Bets for Events: Jan. 25
Music’s 22nd annual Lytle Scholarship Concert is included in a La Jolla Light “best bet.”


Culture Report: The Border Wall Is No Match for Music
“Those musicians on the other side of the border, they’re my friends. No physical boundary will keep me from talking to my friends or keep me from feeling like I’m a neighbor to the people in Tijuana, and our music underscores that,” Steven Schick of Music tells the Voice of San Diego.


Activist Angela Davis to speak at Pittsburgh's August Wilson Center
Philosophy alumna Angela Davis will appear as part of the “Truthsayer” speaker series.


Thousands of Students, Locals, and Leaders Turn Out for San Diego Women’s March
Theatre and Dance student Kol Chaiken explained to the UCSD Guardian that she attended to show unity with women of all backgrounds.


Rap on Border: A Public Conversation
Participants from an interdisciplinary effort that included Visual Arts students will hold a conversation about race, gender, sexuality and life in general as residents of the borderlands to open the “In a Close(d) Relationship” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.


‘Tijuana Moods’ concerts in San Diego and Tijuana will be historic first for legacy of Charles Mingus
The concerts are presented in conjunction with the “It’s About Time” festival, curated by Music’s Steven Schick.


“The Road To and From the Paris Climate Agreement”
Andrew Light was the guest speaker of the December Ethics in the Public Sphere talk, a community event organized by Philosophy (video).


‘It’s About Time’ Festival Brings Percussion To The Forefront
Steven Schick of Music joins KPBS Midday Edition Tuesday to discuss the festival.


Finding a Roadmap to Success for Students
Four ‘Careers in the Humanities’ workshops highlight choices, concrete steps to successful futures. Led by History professor Nancy Kwak, the workshops represent an ongoing, collective effort between the Division of Arts and Humanities, the UC San Diego Career Center and the Institute of Arts and Humanities.


‘It’s About Time: A Festival of Rhythm. Sound. And Place’
Curated by Music professor Steven Schick, UC San Diego plays important part in region-wide cultural festival.


Helen Edison Lecture Series Highlight Festival
On Feb. 1, Music professor Steven Schick will be in conversation with Literature alumnus Luis Alberto Urrea.


Lytle Scholarship Concert Presents ‘Jazz Piano Summit’
22nd annual Music concert raises money for undergraduate scholarships.


Commentary: Does San Diego theater matter?
The San Diego Union-Tribune praises Theatre and Dance for its status as one of the top programs in the country and its essential contributions to the regional theatre scene.


Design & Community
Theatre and Dance lighting design alumna Sherrice Mojgani is profiled by Stage-Directions.com for championing more diverse representation in the theater and design fields.


Game Changer
Seventeen years ago, Chris Yanov ’99 (Literature) began a program that has since sent 1,600 inner-city kids to college and been called “a model for the nation.” The secret? A few failures, a good dose of grit and a love of game shows.


First Gen Success
System-wide support for first-generation students, including mention of Music's Susan Narucki and Sarah Baker of the Analytical Writing Program.


The Sound from Down Under
One custom building, 16 rescued pianos, all in the Outback. Very UC San Diego. Featuring the work of Vanessa Tomlinson, MA ’97, DMA ’00 and Erik Griswold, MA ’92, Ph.D. ’97, both Music alumni.


‘Soundings’ and Chamber Music International offer worlds of contrast in two concerts
The Nasher Sculpture Center’s “Soundings” series interspersed Bach’s Musical Offering with movements from Music composer Lei Liang.


UC San Diego surfer puts professional dream on hold to earn degree
Becoming a professional surfer is a dream for many people who grew up competing in the sport, including Visual Arts junior Frankie Seely.


Top Weekend Events: San Diego Union-Tribune
The annual celebration of new plays by rising dramatists returns to the Globe, with staged readings of work by Theatre and Dance alumna Lauren Yee, among others.


‘It’s About Time’ for ear-bending, eye-popping, borders-leaping music festival
Music professor Steven Schick curates this month long music festival, “It’s About Time.” After opening, the Union-Tribune gives its first take: ‘Percussion Lovefest’ gets festival off to a propulsive start.


San Diego Repertory Theatre presents ‘Vietgone’
Directed by Theatre and Dance alumna Jesca Prudencio, ‘Vietgone’ opens Jan. 25.


Stand-out acts fill January bill
La Jolla Light gives some great coverage to ArtPower! at UC San Diego, including their participation in Music’s Steven Schick-led “It’s About Time” festival.


WEDS@7 Represent the Best of UCSD’s Music Department
“I originally attended WEDS@7 when accompanying a friend who needed some company for the performance, knowing full well the concert would be aggressive and provocative. It wasn’t until after I left, however, that I realized how subtly the music had actually evoked so much emotion,” The Triton news reports on the Department of Music weekly series.


Nicole Mitchell, an Innovative Flutist With an Afrofuturist Vision
Former Music student Nicole Mitchell is featured in the New York Times.


No rest for Wick Alexander
Local artist and Visual Arts alumnus Wick Alexander discusses his Athenaeum exhibition and reflects on a successful career.


In Clash Between California and Trump, It’s One America Versus Another
Visual Arts graduate student Andrew Sturm is quoted in the New York Times.


At soundON festival, extraordinary musical voyages unfold
A San Diego Union-Tribune review included work by Roger Reynolds of Music.


What It’d Take to Make ‘Flying Cars’ the Future of Racing
Robert Edelman of History gives a quick background on spot racing in Bloomberg Pursuits.


San Diego Symphony starts the new year with a rhythm fest
Music professor Steven Schick curates the new month-long festival, beginning Jan. 11.


Phoenix Theatre Presents Rolling World Premiere of 'Halftime with Don'
Theatre and Dance alumnus Ken Weitzman’s play will receive its world premiere.


In 2017, the Border Was a Concept Nationally and a Canvas Locally
In this Voice of San Diego border art roundup, Visual Arts was well represented: Omar Pimienta, Sara Solaimani, Andrew Sturm and Ricardo Dominguez.


UCSD composer's opera a light amid the hate
“I’m very concerned about the future,” says Anthony Davis of Music to the San Diego Reader. “That’s why it’s important for me to continue to write about political events because I believe the country is in peril.


The World of Music Stardom, Through the Eyes of the Photographer B+
The New Yorker has a great write up of the new book "Ghostnotes" by Visual Arts faculty member Brian "B+" Cross. From the article: “These images tell a story of hard work, an obsession with craft that draws Cross ever nearer. As you turn the pages, you can hear music.”


A day in Mexico City
Literature student Monica Lopez shares her view of life in Mexico in this video, part of the University of California Education Abroad Program.


UCSD Chamber Orchestra Excels with Narrative Driven Music
In its first concert of the year, the Department of Music Chamber Orchestra played three pieces that each contained their own unique narrative. Led by conductor Matthew J. Kline, the Chamber Orchestra performed splendidly, the Triton reported.


Old Globe sets lineup for annual Powers new-play festival
Theatre and Dance alumna Lauren Yee’s work is selected for the January festival.


Russia's doping plot: Symptom of a deeper Olympic malaise?
“In a globalized age, one can imagine the nation-state being removed from the Olympics,” Robert Edelman of History said to the Christian Science Monitor. Earlier, Edelman was interviewed for USA Today on the subject.


Performance Series at UC San Diego's Qualcomm Institute Enters Fifth Season
”We are pleased to announce a schedule of strong and innovative interdisciplinary and experimental pieces for this fifth season of the IDEAS Performance Series,” said Shahrokh Yadegari of Music, chair of the Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences selection committee.


UC San Diego Theatre & Dance to Welcome Veronica Santiago Moniello for thesisWORKS 2017
Broadway World San Diego featured Theatre and Dance student Santiago Moniello’s performance.


Hung Lui exhibit at Loveland Museum/Gallery features more than 200,000 fortune cookies
An exhibit by Visual Arts alumna Hung Lui is featured.


Entrevista con Estefania Ibanez
Reprinted on his blog, Music professor Wilfrido Terrazas is interviewed about his musical history, music in everyday life and the function of music (in Spanish).


Catalonia pushes for independence from Spain: What to know
The push for independence “raises questions of the future of democracy and democratic rule,” Pamela Radcliff of History said. “What’s being contested between Spain and Catalonia, one of the things is different visions of what defending democracy looks like.”


The story of early tape music, microsound, and a Eurorack resurrection
Computer music professor Tom Erbe of Music is featured by Create Digital Music.


Intiman Theatre Announces Next Co-Curator
Theatre and Dance alumna KJ Sanchez has been named the co-curator of the 2018 co-curator of Seattle’s Intiman Festival, its third.


Globe's autism-friendly 'Grinch' has helped spark a movement
A good portion of developing the idea can be traced to a moment Theatre and Dance alumna Lisa Porter spent in the Old Globe basement six years ago with her daughter, Daisy, the Union-Tribune says.


Turner, Refinery29 Host Women’s Comedy Writers Lab, With Winner Getting TBS Digital Pilot
Theatre and Dance alumna Kim Blanck has been selected as one of eight to participate in the Riot Comedy Lab, a two-day comedy writing workshop.


We Chinese in America
Lei Liang of Music is featured on the cover of We Chinese in America magazine (in Chinese).


2018 Colorado New Play Summit selections announced
The Denver Center Theatre Company has announced their 13th annual Colorado New Play Summit, which will feature a reading of a new work by Theatre and Dance alumnus David Jacobi, and a world-premiere production by alumna Lauren Yee.


A must-see: Hung Liu’s women warriors: ‘Daughters of China’ at Kala
Visual Arts alumna Hung Liu, named one of the most prominent Chinese-American painters working in the U.S. today, has her new exhibit in Berkeley featured.


What It's Like Adapting Haruki Murakami's Surreal Fiction
To adapt the novel to the stage, the director assembled a group of world-class artistic collaborators, starting with Theatre and Dance alumna Naomi Iizuka.


Meet Gwen Grossman of Gwen Grossman Lighting Design in Jackson Blvd
Theatre and Dance alumna Gwen Grossman was profiled by Voyage Chicago to discuss her career as a lighting designer and her architectural lighting design firm.


San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra launches 35th anniversary season
Music graduate student Anahita Abbasi composed work that will receive its world premiere in 2018.


International Magazine of Space Design
Theatre and Dance scenic design alumnus Steven Kemp was interviewed by BOB Magazine, the International Magazine of Space Designed.


San Diego Repertory Theatre presents VIETGONE
Theatre and Dance alumna Jesca Prudencio is announced as director.


Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying

Streaming now on UCTV, Department of Literature professor emeritus Roddey Reid traces the origins of the current toxic environment back some 30 years to a culture of abuse in the workplace, media and the political arena.


Finding a Roadmap to Success for Students

Led by Department of History professor Nancy Kwak, our ‘Careers in the Humanities’ workshops highlight choices, concrete steps to successful futures.


Issues of Identity: In Conversation with Hilton Als

Pulitzer Prize-winning theater critic joins Department of Theatre and Dance students to discuss access and mentorship.


Faculty and Staff Step Up to Support UC San Diego

Susan Kirkpatrick, professor emerita of Spanish Literature, is creating the Kirkpatrick Literature Ph.D. Research Fund to provide research support for incoming doctoral students in the Department of Literature.

Media Contact

Anthony King
858-822-7824
anthonypking@ucsd.edu
Twitter: @anthonyucsd

 

 

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