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Areas to Support

Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence and Equity

The Arts Division is committed to serving the changing demographic of our student body, who represent the future of California. We are already building the "University of the Future" which will help future generations as they claim their education. Through the Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence and Equity, we can work towards this goal by:

  • Removing barriers to degree completion by offering emergency grants to students in need
  • Creating an inclusive curriculum by providing seed funding for innovative inclusive programs and encouraging the creation and dissemination of new work
  • Improving the pipeline for diverse workers in the arts, by offering opportunities for professional development for our students

We believe there is no true excellence without equity, no true innovation without inclusion. Please join us by making a gift today.


Arts Professional Pathways

The Arts Professional Pathways offers direct engagement with the creative and industry professionals to demystify and promote careers in the Arts. We offer students a roadmap for pursuing their dreams by providing advising, mentorship, networking and internships with major arts and entertainment institutions. We also provide matching scholarship funds to ensure internships can be accessible to all students regardless of their family wealth. Together we can break down the barriers that keep underrepresented students from taking part in the creative economy and diversify the next generation of artists and creative professionals. Help us launch new careers today. 


Gifts to the Art Department support the academic and artistic life of our students.  They help us reward the special achievements of our young artists and help us maintain equipment, studios, digital labs and exhibition spaces.  In addition, private support helps us to bring prominent artists and scholars to campus for lectures, demonstrations, and instruction.  Your donation directly increases the quality of our program and enhances learning.  Click here to make a donation.

Digital Arts and New Media (DANM)

The Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) MFA Program is one of the university's most innovative graduate programs, drawing from over 60 faculty members in a wide range of disciplines to work with a select group of graduate students.  In this two-year MFA program, students develop highly advanced digital media art works and scholarly research supported by applied classes in art and technology combined with courses in the history and critical study of digital media in the arts.  This formula has proven successful in both attracting excellent students and producing top-notch professionals.  Support this growing program. 

Film and Digital Media

The Film and Digital Media Department has built a vibrant community of scholars, artist and students who are committed to excellence in research and creativity.  The latest addition is our Ph.D. program, where these talented students have increased the vitality of our community, touching all areas of academic life and we are excited to see the graduate student body grow and mature.  Your gifts make it possible to faciliate improvements to computer labs, lighting studios, sound mixing spaces, production equipment, screening rooms, as well as helping us to expand our film media library.  Our Colloquium Series brings scholars and artists from around the country to stimulate the intellectual life of the community for faculty and students a like.  We hope to make this an annual series.  Your support makes it all possible.

History of Art and Visual Cultural (HAVC)

Donor support helps fund a number of professional and academic talks, including Enrique Martinez (Rhode Island School of Design) who spoke on how to become an architect, Lisa Bloom (UC San Diego) on climate change and feminist art, and John Mraz (University of Puebla, Mexico) on photography and the Mexican Revolution.  A generous endowment made possible by Pat and Rowland Rebele gave Dr. Elisabeth Cameron the means necessary to lead an innovative yearlong series of courses on museum history and practice.  Our new Visual Studies Ph.D. program is up and running, as well as our inaugural Visual and Media Culture Colloquium hosted notable scholars including W.J.T. Mitchell (University of Chicago), Kara Keeling (USC), and Faye Ginsburg (NYU).  Our donors enhance the department's mission, along with the academic and professional success of our students.    

Institute of the Arts and Sciences

Gifts to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences support our current programming including innovative exhibitions, lively public events, and our residency program which features the work of nationally renowned artists and ground-breaking scientists and scholars. As the Institute harnesses the creative power of the arts and the sciences to explore big questions and critical issues of our time, its program reflects the distinct, interdisciplinary culture of UC Santa Cruz and its commitment to social engagement and public service.  The Institute invites collaboration and learning in all forms, for students and campus visitors alike.  Support this unique program.


Donations to our department make a major impact on the academic life of our students, enabling us to maintain instruments and rehearsal and performance spaces, along with state-of-the art equipment for recording and electronic/computer music.  They ensure that students have access to one-on-one performance instruction and to a wide variety of ensembles, including orchestra, opera, wind ensemble, choral groups, jazz ensembles, Balinese and Javanese gamelan, Latin American ensembles, and a newly-established Eurasian ensemble.  Our undergraduate program and our three graduate degree programs are greatly enhanced by the many symposia, festivals, and performances that take place at the Music Center. Our dedicated, professional faculty was ranked third in the nation according to a recent faculty productivity index produced by Academic Analytics.  Private philanthropy provides the ability to achieve excellence in our music programs. 

Performance, Play and Design

The newest department in the Arts Division, Performance, Play and Design combines Theater Arts and Arts, Games and Playable Media to create a unique new program.   Representing the cutting edge of the study of play, from mashing up multi-platform performance to interactive virtual installations to all manner of games. With leaders coming from all aspects of theatrical performance to video game developers and installation artists, our faculty offers students an unusually interdisciplinary and collaborative experience. Your donations keep our department vibrant.

Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery operates a museum oriented program for educational purposes. The gallery organizes annual exhibitions that represents a broad range of methods, media and cultures, in a local, regional, and national context, with a focus on contemporary practice. The MPS Art Gallery works to integrate these programs and exhibitions into the lives of a broader community.  Support the MPS Gallery.