My daughter is headed off to CalArts to begin her journey in the Character Animation Class of 2025.
And I’ve got to say, I LOVE this school. There are tons of reasons why the California Institute of the Arts is an amazing place to go to school, but here are my top ten. (Plus a bonus!)
The Top 10 Things About CalArts (in no particular order):
- With just over 1000 undergraduates, CalArts is smaller than my daughter’s high school.
- There are no grades! Instead of A-F, there is High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, or No Credit.
- CalArts students come from over 50 different countries including India, Turkey, Egypt, Myanmar, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Mongolia, and Iran.
- Graduation is a full-day party. The guests grab a spot on the lawn and put out blankets, and eat and drink during the ceremony. Rather than wearing caps & gowns, the graduates wear whatever they want and do whatever they want as they walk (and perform) on stage. That includes wearing nothing. Because CalArts has no rules against nudity on campus. Take note of the disclaimer at the bottom of the graduation video. 😉
- The Disney connection. Walt and Roy Disney created CalArts in 1961 by merging the Chouinard Institute of the Arts with the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. They envisioned a place where artists of all types – visual, performing, and musical – could learn and collaborate with one another.
CalArts is the principal thing I hope to leave when I move on to greener pastures. If I can help provide a place to develop the talent of the future, I think I will have accomplished something.—Walt Disney
- Parking is FREE. Free for faculty. Free for staff. Free for students. Free for visitors.
- Tim Burton’s former dorm room is commemorated with a unique door. Just in case you don’t know who Tim Burton is, here are some hints – Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, and Beetlejuice.
- Undergraduate Character Animation students are assigned a cubicle that they are allowed to paint and decorate as they please.
- Courses that fulfill the math and science requirement include All That Glitters and Sex and Death(no lab required).
- In addition to the aforementioned Tim Burton, other famous alumni include Davide Hasselhoff, Brad Bird, Ed Harris, Sofia Coppola, Don Cheadle, Katey Segal, Michael Richards, and this guy.
This is the president of CalArts Ravi Rajan in a picture advertising the 2021 graduation after-party.