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CALARTS GREETS ALUMNI WITH HOMECOMING GALA.

Byline: Daily News

VALENCIA - California Institute of the Arts recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with an all-alumni reunion featuring carnival rides, a fireworks display and a midnight pool party.

The reunion was planned as a kind of homecoming, according to Alumni Reunion Committee Chairman Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman.

``Of course, CalArts never had a homecoming - or a football team,'' Rubens said. ``That's the joke. The event was a full-scale spoof on the homecoming tradition.''

Alumni had the opportunity to reconnect with each other at a cocktail party and a dinner while enjoying music and performances by alumni and current students. Entertainment included performances by the CalArts Gamelan Orchestra, the African Dance Ensemble and the Jazz Ensemble.

In the Bijou Theater on campus, a film festival ran throughout the afternoon showcasing the work of former and current students. The films provided a glimpse at the early years of CalArts and included several milestone films for both individuals and styles of filmmaking.

Current student work also gave alumni the chance to see what today's filmmakers at CalArts are doing. ``A connection between current students and alumni is something we were really hoping for with this event,'' Alumni Committee member Henry Golas said.

Roy Disney delivered the keynote address and expressed his delight with the event.

``This is truly a great and special moment in the history of CalArts,'' he said. ``As you, the alumni, have spontaneously chosen to join together to return to this special place to help lead it into a new phase, to serve a new generation of artists.''

To commemorate the reunion, all alumni received class rings donated by Reubens.

Reubens, David Berry and David Bossert were all recognized with Presidential Awards for their service to CalArts, and Distinguished Alumni Awards went to Jamie Bishton, Mike Kelley, Jeff Kleeman, Arturo Marquez and C. Henry Selick.

Recent alumni from each school - K.C. Amos (film/video), Nicholas Chase (music), Jacques Heim (dance), Beata Pilch (theater) and Monique Prieto (art) - were honored with Achievement Awards.

The alumni weekend ended with the opportunity to attend a reception and a performance of former CalArts student Julie Taymor's ``The Lion King'' at the Pantages Theater, with recent School of Dance alumna Keisha Clarke dancing in the new West Coast production of the Broadway success.

The Alumni Reunion Committee hopes that the event will be the beginning of an alumni organization with a regular presence on the campus.

``We've been waiting for this for a long time,'' CalArts President Steven Lavine said. ``We appreciate all the work the committee put in planning the weekend, and we are particularly happy about their enthusiasm for and dedication to CalArts.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 17, 2000
Words:443
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