CSUN Arts Council: Supporting Students with Scholarships and Service

Arts Council member Amy Sosa (left) presents the Amy E. Sosa Scholarship to theater students Chelsea Beyries (center) and Tiana Cohen.

Arts Council member Amy Sosa (left) presents the Amy E. Sosa Scholarship to theater students Chelsea Beyries (center) and Tiana Cohen. Photo by Hailey Lutz.

More than two dozen scholarships were awarded to California State University, Northridge art, music and theater students at the CSUN Arts Council Awards Ceremony in early May. An annual tradition, the ceremony is hosted by the CSUN Arts Council, a group of community members who support arts programs at the university.

Officially founded in 1971 but with roots dating back to 1963, the Arts Council’s 95 current members provide a multitude of services for CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. The council directly supports about a dozen student scholarships, funded by donations from council members, each year. The members are crucial volunteers at the CSUN Art Galleries, which present a rotating set of student and faculty exhibitions throughout the year. Arts Council members conduct K-12 school tours in the Art Galleries and host gallery exhibition opening events.

Members also manage and staff the Art Galleries Store and the Music Shoppe in Cypress Hall; profits from the stores benefit the respective academic departments. Members also serve as ushers during student musical and theatrical performances.

In addition to their service to the campus, Arts Council members meet on campus once a week for a lecture by a member of the CSUN arts faculty, drawing on the university’s wide breath of talented artists and art educators to create a continually compelling slate of speakers.

Nancy Reed, a charter member of the council, said that the council’s support of art students is particularly fulfilling. “I think that it’s important to be able to support students no matter what,” Reed said. “Students are in great need of scholarships in today’s world and I would hope that others realize how important and personally fulfilling it is to help a student.”

Chelsea Beyries, a junior theater student at CSUN who received a scholarship funded by Arts Council member Amy Sosa at the ceremony, expressed her gratitude for the scholarship. “Receiving the scholarship has enabled me to continue to focus on my studies and theater work, without the worry of finding [outside] work,” said Beyries. “As a theater major, finding a job that accommodates rehearsal schedule can be difficult and the Arts Council gave me a way around it.”

Reed also values the council’s mission to connect the university and the surrounding community through art exhibitions, theatrical performances and other events. “It’s important to raise money,” she said. “But we also want to be involved in the community coming to campus.”

For more: Get involved by attending arts events or joining the Arts Council.

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