Hundreds gathered in front of the Center for the Arts for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday Jan. 23.
Attendants had the opportunity to tour the building including classes, student displays and exhibits. The grand opening also included musical performances from the solo pianists and piano ensembles, jazz singers, brass quintet, guitar ensemble, and the Lancer Jazz Big Band.
In attendance was Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice-Mayor Jacque Robinson, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assemblymen Chris Holden, the PCC Board of Trustees, the PCC Foundation Board, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, members of the Art Alliance, the Citizen’s Oversight Committee and members of the community.
Also in attendance was Academy Award-nominated director and PCC alumnus John Singleton who gave a short speech about his experience at PCC.
“My first film classes were here at PCC,” Singleton said. “The first time I ever had a chance to access equipment and formulate my dreams of becoming a filmmaker began here so for me to come here and see this new facility dedicated to the arts fostering creativity to a whole new generation of students just really warms my heart.”
Designed by AC Martin architects, the Center for the Arts brings art and music together with its 14 classrooms and 3 performance spaces: the Robert and Adrienne Westerbeck Recital Hall, the Boone Family Art Gallery, and the Black Box Theatre.
“Where many community colleges and public schools have cut back on the arts, PCC has maintained its commitment to the arts,” Dr. Rocha wrote in a prepared statement. “The Center for the Arts will transform the landscape of the PCC campus and ultimately transform the lives of our students. To eliminate the arts would be to deny our students the opportunity to create and to enlarge their understanding of what it means to be human.”
The City of Pasadena partnered with PCC to host the mayor’s State of the City address in the Westerbeck Recital Hall on the same night. The State of the City theme this year was “Arts + Innovation = Pasadena.” Mayor Bill Bogaard reported on recent accomplishments by the City as well as future plans for the city government in 2014.