Partnership Between CSU Dominguez Hills and Home Depot Center Presents a Look at Entertainment Industry for Students
“Music, Movies and More,” a symposium focusing on career opportunities in the music and film industry, will take place on Friday, June 26 from 12-4:30 p.m. in the Loker Student Union at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The event is being presented in collaboration with the Home Depot Center (HDC) Charitable Foundation. Throughout the afternoon, three panels of award-winning professionals and recording artists will speak to Dominguez Hills students and students from high school arts programs who are interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
In addition, recording industry representatives will be on hand to listen to the work of aspiring artists in the university’s Edison Theatre. High school students will also have the opportunity to earn up to three units of college credit by attending the symposium and will be able to enroll in a university Young Scholars Program course on the music industry taking place during the month of July. The event will end with a live performance by Win Win Global recording artist X2. The independent record label will be awarding scholarships to three CSU Dominguez Hills at the end of the event.
Tamala Lewis, director of the HDC Charitable Foundation and Community Affairs, says that education is the most valuable tool for young people who aspire to the entertainment industry.
“Every student needs to understand that whatever route they pursue in the entertainment industry, [whether] recording artists, music producers, or graphic artists...marketing, and technology knowledge is crucial,” she says. “The entertainment industry is a business, and based on today’s economic outlook, it’s clear that the recruitment process looks more closely at education and experience than ever before.”
George Arasimowicz, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, says that a high percentage of Dominguez Hills music and recording graduates find positions in their chosen fields in the industry due to the caliber of the programs. In addition, he says that more often than not, internship opportunities help graduates land that first job.
“Here at Dominguez Hills, [students are] getting a strong anchor,” he says. “They’re learning about the theoretical and practical principles associated with creating really fine work, whether it’s sound or visual.”
“How you look at the world through visual images and sound is influential,” he notes. “Just as the mediums are proliferating in so many ways... our students are right in the thick of it, of something that’s still becoming larger and larger as an economic force in the United States.”
Arasimowicz says that the symposium is just one of the measures that CSU Dominguez Hills has taken to provide students with “the opportunity to ask questions of and rub shoulders with industry professionals who are interested in them,” and gives the example of Dr. Mark Waldrep, professor of digital media arts, who invites industry colleagues to speak to their students for a “real world” emphasis in their courses.
“We introduce them to people who are mentors and are outstanding in their profession,” says Arasimowicz. “Our professors choose to work with the students at Dominguez Hills because they really want to instill into those students a sense of professionalism [and] a sense of excitement about what the media represents. They instill in their students [the fact] that they have a role to play in creating contemporary and significant cultural mapping. When I speak with the professors, I hear their pride about the successes of the students.”
The panels focus on aspects of the entertainment industry, including Music Technology, moderated by Allan “The Barron” Cole, general manager of independent label Win Win Global; Kevin Elliott, Visual Arts, moderated by president and CEO of Code 4 Media Group; and “The Future of the Industry,” moderated by DJ Spinderella, of the musical group Salt-n-Pepa.
Panelists include Dave Hampton, Grammy-winning audio engineer, studio designer, and CSU Dominguez Hills alumnus; Roberto Orci, a motion picture writer and producer whose recent work includes the latest “Transformers” and “Star Trek” films; Mamie Coleman, vice president of music and production, Fox Broadcasting Company; Cesar Mejia, engineer, producer and adjunct faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills; and Kashif, Grammy-nominated recording artist and author of “Everything You'd Better Know About The Record Industry.”
Lewis, who also created and produces the Battle of the High School Marching Bands event at the HDC through a partnership with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, hopes the music symposium will help students who aspire to careers in the highly competitive entertainment industry will learn that “personal contacts may get you the interview, but they do not guarantee the job.”
“Education and experience will help land a job, help you keep it, and most importantly, advance in the industry,” she says. “It’s not always who you know, but what you know.”
The Music, Movies and More Symposium is also sponsored by “The Business of Audio Engineering” by Dave Hampton, Win Win Global, Making Music Herstory, and Code 4 Media Group.
For an application for the Young Scholars Program, and the opportunity to earn up to three units of college credit through the symposium, click here. The completed application, including the application fee made payable to CSU Dominguez Hills must be brought to the event on May 6. For more information, contact (310) 243-3389.
For more information on the Music, Movies and More Symposium or to register to attend, click here.
- Joanie Harmon