It took two days in November to roll out the red carpet for something as special as Salt Lake Community College’s new Center for Arts and Media.
“I believe it can change the landscape of how we in higher education nurture our students toward either transferrable degrees with our sister USHE institutions or the vibrant industry within the digital disciplines,” said SLCC School of Arts, Communication and Media Interim Dean Richard Scott. “A facility like this will enable us to provide world class, industry standard experiences for the state’s digital student.”
MacArthur genius award recipient Bill Strickland helped kick off events November 7 with a keynote address at South City Campus’ Grand Theatre.
Former SLCC President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau hosted about 200 people at a colorful and diverse art show the first day, handing out two $1,000 awards and two more for $500 each. Artist Benjamin Higbee won the $1,000 President’s Award with his entry “Particle Swarm.”
SLCC opened the 130,000 square-‐foot center’s doors the next day to the public for five hours for an open house. Visitors received their first glimpse of the stunning new 2,000 square-‐foot television studio and control room, located next door to a 3,000 square-‐foot film stage.
Over 300 high school students from around the valley also participated in workshops inside a few of the 22 editing bays and in the animation lab. They also toured one of three MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) classrooms and the state-‐of-‐the-‐industry digital audio recording studio, which has a 64-‐channel Solid State Logic mixing board.
Friday’s open house ended with two screenings of the documentary “Out of
Nowhere.” The film shows a SLCC alumnus going back to his homeland Kenya to meet his brother for the first time and to be reunited with his mother after 20 years. Panel discussions with refugees from Africa and Iraq and then with the documentary filmmakers bookended the first of two screenings.
Prior to and during the grand opening the new facility received extensive TV and print media coverage, including several spots as part of Fox 13’s “Good Day Utah” broadcast featuring Big Budah. SLCC Public Relations Director Joy Tlou gave several media tours in the days leading up to the opening and afterward.
“The media attention has been phenomenal,” Tlou said. “One thing we didn’t anticipate is finding out that this facility is the envy of people in the professional media industry.”
The opening was the culmination of a long project that began with breaking ground in 2010, then demolishing an old pool, diving pool and gymnasium.
The new center is physically connected to Salt Lake City School District’s Innovations High School and will serve an estimated 9,000 students while bringing together 17 programs under one roof for SLCC’s School of Arts, Communication and New Media. The high school, new center and the rest of South City Campus, which was built in 1931, now flow seamlessly into one another.