If you attend UCLA, you know how overwhelmed you can feel when hunting for helpful resources, especially if you’re a student artist. Luckily, these students have a multitude of opportunities at their fingertips to pursue their art. Whether you’d like to find a group of fellow student artists to collaborate with or you need other resources to support your work, UCLA has a lot to offer you.
Here’s a breakdown of the 10 best resources that UCLA has for student artists!
1.) ResLife Arts Engagement
Regardless of what type of art you create, you should definitely make it a priority to check out ResLife Arts Engagement. Not only do they plug students into all the art happenings at UCLA via their Arts Newsletter, but they also run a bunch of different arts programs.
For example, students can borrow free art supplies via their art supply checkout and theatre groups can seek their production assistance by applying to their theatre season. They even have an Arts Leadership Circle through which art leaders can connect with one another for support or plain ol’ good vibes.
2.) Learning Centers
If you live on The Hill, then you know that you can use the Learning Center at Sunset Village to either study for your midterms or chill out after them. As a student artist on The Hill though, you should make it your business to get in touch with the Learning Centers at Rieber Hall and De Neve.
Students interested in creating physical art should definitely check out the Maker Space at Rieber Hall. The Maker Space offers a wide range of equipment, from laser cutters to 3D printers, to help you make almost anything you can imagine.
At Studio 22 in De Neve, students can learn how to use a variety of arts-related industry standard software. The staff at Studio 22 can teach you how to use Adobe Suite or, if you already know how, you can just pull up a chair at a computer and use it for free. The same goes for music software and you can even sign up to use the studio’s recording booth.
3.) The Creative Collective
Students who plan to live on The Hill can opt to live in one of many different Living Learning Communities. In these dorm-based communities, residents can connect with students who have similar interests.
Artists living on The Hill can opt to join the Creative Collective when they apply for housing. Apart from getting the chance to meet and engage with fellow artists on a daily basis, the Collective hosts weekly events where you can either showcase your art or get exposed to new artists and artforms.
4.) Dashew Center Art & Writing Collective
International students can have a hard time finding a community where they feel comfortable making and sharing their art. Luckily, the Dashew Center for International Students has a community for international student artists.
Their Art & Writing Collective hosts biweekly workshops where students can explore their creative side. Students can even submit their work to the center’s annual art & writing magazine, Envelope.
Many student artists major in a non-arts field and instead opt to minor in the arts, including ethnomusicology, music industry or film and television. Unfortunately, though, not many students know about the Visual and Performing Arts Education minor.
Students interested in teaching art find this minor to be extremely fulfilling, as it involves working directly with your community. For those interested in Arts Education, but would rather not commit to the minor, you can still get involved with different VAPAE community programs, like the Classroom in Residence Program at the Hammer Museum.
6.) A Capella Groups
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a Pitch Perfect-esque college experience , then consider yourself lucky. At UCLA, you can find at least 20 different A Capella groups.
“UCLA offers a diverse range of A Cappella groups from competitive groups to cultural groups to community service groups. As someone interested in equitable arts education, I joined Youthphonics A Cappella, a community service a cappella group that taught an after-school music program at Fairfax High School,” UCLA junior Blaze Bautista said.
Each group specializes in something different and you can decide which group you like best in a couple different ways. Most students find their fit at the annual Enormous Activities Fair, while others attend showcases and sing-offs to get a better feel for the different groups. You can always check out this guide which breaks down the details for a couple different groups.
7.) Theatre Groups
You don’t have to be a theatre major to get involved with the theatre scene at UCLA. You don’t even need any prior experience. UCLA offers a range of theatre groups for any students of any level.
The biggest group on campus, HOOLIGAN Theatre Company, specializes in musical theatre. If you would prefer to work with a smaller group, consider checking out Color Box Production Company or Shakespeare Company. The former makes it a point to emphasize diversity and inclusion in their productions, while the latter focuses on—you guessed it—Shakespearian theatre.
“Joining HOOLIGAN Theatre Company has come with so many benefits: growing as an artist, getting opportunities to expand my resume (I have been an education associate for the company’s education department for the past three years, which helped me to land other jobs and scholarships), and finding my people (I live with other actors that I met my freshman year),” UCLA senior Sylvia Camacho said.
For students interested in shorter plays, improv and comedy, definitely look into LLC Theatre Company, Shenanigans Comedy Club and Rapid Fire Improv.
8.) Film and Photography Clubs
Film fans who attend UCLA have definitely found themselves at the right university for pursuing that passion. Even though you may not major or minor in film and television, you can still learn a lot about the artform by getting involved with film clubs at UCLA.
You can choose among four different options, depending on your interests and motivations. If you’re interested in photography alone, check out the UCLA Photography Club. If you want to make short films and also get into photography, then the Film and Photography Club at UCLA is right for you.
“The Film and Photography Society has been a bastion of creative exploration that has provided unparalleled opportunities to hone my artistic skills. The club has given me foundational training in organizing and executing photo shoots along with a thorough education of film production by working nearly every role on dozens of sets,” UCLA senior Brett Blauner said.
Students who want to get together with other film geeks to watch films can try out Bruin Film Society. Those seeking a film fraternity can consider joining Delta Kappa Alpha, a co-ed professional fraternity.
9.) Dance Teams
As a dancer, you’ll find no shortage of options for continuing your practice at UCLA. At the annual Enormous Activities Fair, you can find a huge selection of dance groups holding auditions. Most teams are competitive, but students tend to get their start in the dance community by joining one of these. By doing this, you get a good feel for the community and have a better chance of finding your tribe.
If you prefer a smaller group to dance with, you can simply ask around. The tight-knit dance community will happily point you towards a Project Team. While some of these smaller teams can be competitive, the vast majority of them don’t compete—they just dance.
10.) UCLA SCA
If you’re a student artist at UCLA, you likely know about the Student Committee for the Arts. They run various programs to help students get involved with the arts.
Through their Projects A.R.T.S. (Art Realized Through Students), they help connect students with working artists. Whether you need a mentor or a collaborator, they’ve got the hook-up. Speaking of sweet hook-ups, SCA has teamed up with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA to offer students a PASSPORT that gives them discounted prices on different programs—you can even get tickets to some of them for free!
Of course, students run this committee, so why not be one of those students? Apart from taking advantage of the resources at SCA, you can also join their team in order to build leadership and management skills.