The arts matter at Pima Community College. Our Center for the Arts (CFA) provides the stage for students to showcase their talent, as well as serving as a classroom where behind-the-scenes careers can be launched (as chronicled in a recent article in our Career Focus magazine). Our students excel in programs in dance, digital art, music, theater, and visual art, such as the PCC students who finished first and second, respectively, in the 2015 Mariachi Conference poster contest. In 2014-15, more than 15,100 people attended CFA Pima Arts events. (Another 18,266 attended events held by community groups and non-arts PCC departments who rented the spaces.) The CFA’s 2015-16 season, announced last month, promises to be just as successful.
Our arts faculty understands the demands of a fast-moving entertainment industry and, like our students, is attuned to the expectations of the audience. The competencies the arts demand – in problem solving, communication, teamwork, appreciation of multiple perspectives — are necessary ingredients for educational and professional success in the 21st century.
One need look no further than Steve Jobs to appreciate how art and life can intersect in profound ways. Jobs took a calligraphy class at Reed College, where he learned the aesthetics of typography, he told the Stanford University Class of 2005. “I found it fascinating. . . . None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac.” Our students take tens of thousands of classes each semester. Their PCC education – in the arts, the sciences, and everywhere in between – can propel them to success, no matter which career path they choose to explore.