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Press Releases - 2009

CONTACT:  Jana Marcus, Marketing & Communications
(831) 479-5744
jamarcus [at]

September 14, 2009


Free Tickets Available on September 28 at 12 noon

Aptos, CA— After eleven years and two bond measures, the Arts Education Classrooms project at Cabrillo College, now known as the Visual And Performing Arts Complex, will host a celebratory grand opening weekend, October 9 – 11. “Dedicated to the Creative Journey” is the theme for the weekend which will include a gala performance and interactive art events, all free to the public, to thank them for passing the bond measures that built the complex.

The Gala Performance in the new Crocker Theater will be a lively mix of the music, theatre and dance departments, directed by emeritus faculty member, Wilma Marcus Chandler. Over 500 performers and technicians have volunteered their time and talents for this exuberant performance. The Gala Performance takes place Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10, at 8:00 PM, followed by a public reception outside. An encore Sunday matinee will be performed at 3:00 PM. All though free, the public must have a ticket to attend the performance.

Free tickets to the performance will be available on a first come, first serve basis starting at 12 noon on Monday, September 28, at the Crocker Theater box office, located at the front of the theater. No more than four (4) tickets per person will be allowed, in order to accommodate as many people as possible.
Saturday the complex will host a free open house from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM which will include tours and interactive art, music, theatre and dance classes and workshops. The public is encouraged to explore the facilities and have fun.

In 1996, Cabrillo developed a comprehensive facilities master plan which identified the educational programs that required expanded or upgraded facilities to support instruction. Measure C was approved by the voters in 1998 at $85 million dollars and Measure D was passed in 2004 at $118.5 million. In addition, the college was successful in securing Federal and State funds in order to maximize the benefit to our local community.

The Visual And Performing Arts Complex started as a vision with the faculty in 1978. Today, the $80 million facility consists of five buildings totaling 122,300 square feet. It includes the 581 seat Crocker Theater, a 369 seat music recital hall and classroom, a building dedicated to two-dimensional art, a building for three-dimensional art and a building for general instruction and offices. The complex also provides fifteen music practices rooms for students, four music rehearsal spaces, five drawing and design studios, recording studios, an acting studio, and a classroom space for experimental theatre, known as the Black Box Theater, which can hold up to 150 seats.

“The opening of the Visual and Performing Arts Complex marks an important milestone in the history of Cabrillo College,” says Dan Martinez, Dean of Visual And Performing Arts at Cabrillo. “Since the inception of the college, the faculty and staff in Art, Music, Dance and Theatre have created outstanding programs, serving generations of students in the performing arts and enriching our community in many important ways. It is truly inspiring to know that these traditions will continue, and these wonderful facilities will provide students with the highest quality performance and art-making opportunities.”

The opening of the complex falls during Cabrillo’s 50th anniversary year. “Beginning with the college’s founding president, Bob Swenson in 1959, innovative leadership has been a hallmark of Cabrillo,” reflects Cabrillo College president Brian King. “We began in humble facilities, but with a strong commitment to serving our students and community. As we begin our second fifty years, and serve more than 17,000 students each semester, our commitment to student success is as strong as ever.” King adds, “The arts have always been at the center of life at Cabrillo, and Cabrillo is at the center of life for our community. “

Schedule of Weekend Events:
Friday, October 9
7 PM – Dedication and ribbon cutting of the Crocker Theater
8 PM – Gala Performance in the Crocker Theater
10 PM – Public reception following performance

Saturday, October 10
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM — Open House at the Complex
(See attached schedule)
8 PM — Gala Performance in the Crocker Theater
10 PM – Public reception following performance

Sunday, October 11
3:00 PM — Gala Performance Encore Presentation

What: Grand Opening of Cabrillo’s Visual & Performing Arts Complex

Gala Performance: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 9 - 10 at 8:00 PM

Sunday Matinee Encore, Oct. 11 at 3:00 PM

Free Tickets to Performance: 1st Come, 1st Serve on Sept. 28 at 12 noon, Crocker Theater Box Office

Open House Saturday: Free Art activities and Workshops, 9:00 to 4:00 PM

Information and schedules at or 479-6464

About Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.

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