Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Cal Arts Story, 1960 Disney film promotes vision for the arts in southern California

The website of the California Institute of the Arts or Cal Arts includes several pages devoted to the history of the institution.  Cal Arts was created from a merger of the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music [founded in 1883] and the Chouinard Art Institute [founded in 1921].  Walt Disney and his brother, Roy O. Disney, helped organize support for the merger in an effort to bring a number of creative disciplines together in one institution.  The webpage devoted to the history of Cal Arts includes a fascinating short 18 minute film, The Cal Arts Story, made in 1960 by Walt Disney Studios to promote the vision for the institution.
A separate webpage is devoted to artist and educator Nelbert Murphy Chouinard who founded Chouinard Art Institute as a small professional art school in downtown Los Angeles.  Chouinard was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and it granted its first Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 1955.

Cal Arts accepted the first students 1969 and fully occupied a new campus in Valencia, CA in 1971.