Isla Vista Arts

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Isla Vista Arts was founded in January 2005. It promotes art and culture in Isla Vista, California. Isla Vista Arts’ programs combined education with artistic expression in Isla Vista, the community adjacent to the University of California Santa Barbara. Isla Vista Arts provides weekly free and low-cost entertainment to college students and community members alike.

Isla Vista Arts provides UCSB students the opportunity to gain real world experience in the production of theater and comedy shows, film screenings at Isla Vista Theater, and magazine publication.

Core programs include I.V. Live, Magic Lantern Films, WORD Magazine, and Nuestra Voz, which are joined with UCSB courses. I.V. Live produces the weekly comedy show Improvability, and the yearly event Shakespeare in the Park. Through their website, Isla Vista Arts also helps promote and advertise local student initiatives in art, self-expression, comedy, theater, and more.[1]

Isla Vista Arts: Weekly and Quarterly Programs[edit]

Magic Lantern Films[edit]

Magic Lantern Films presents movies every Friday and Monday night in the historic Isla Vista Theater. Magic Lantern Films opened its doors in 2003. Over the past few years, MLF has become the most successful film program of its kind in California, with an average of 637 attendees per week (according to film distributors Swank and Criterion who specialize in college markets). Magic Lantern Films is linked to the course Film and Media Studies 119 at UCSB, and teaches students how to produce and manage a film festival.

Magic Lantern Films takes its name from the old Magic Lantern Theater, now the Isla Vista Theater. In the 1970s, the Magic Lantern was an art house that screened classic, independent, and foreign films. The new Magic Lantern picks up where the old one left off by screening critically acclaimed films as well as cult classics.[2][3]

The film schedule is available in The Daily Nexus,[4] The Santa Barbara Independent,[5] and WORD: Arts and Culture Magazine, and on the Isla Vista Arts website.

I.V. Live and Improvability[edit]

I.V. Live began as a variety show in 2004 and has grown into Improvability, a weekly improvisation show. In addition to UCSB and SBCC students, Isla Vista residents are welcomed to this family-friendly show. I.V. Live began as a graduate student initiative and soon morphed into a regular course in the Theater and Dance department at UCSB. I.V. Live is both a production course (THTR 42/142) sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance and an Office of Student Life campus organization, a hybrid of academics and community service. I.V. Live also produces the annual event, Shakespeare in the Park.[6]

WORD: Isla Vista Arts and Culture Magazine[edit]

WORD, is published quarterly by the UCSB course, INT 185ST, and is partnered with an Office of Student Life campus organization. WORD is a free magazine, distributed in news stands in front of local businesses in Isla Vista, California, and in the “WORD Bench” located in front of I.V. Theater. The magazine discusses I.V. music, arts, and local interests.[7]

Isla Vista Arts: Annual Programs[edit]

Shakespeare in the Park[edit]

Shakespeare in the Park is a program that brings classical drama to the heart of Isla Vista. Founded by graduate student Jason Narvy, and produced by I.V. Live, Shakespeare in the Park is a free, family-friendly production in the Anisq'Oyo' Park amphitheater. In winter, 2008 Isla Vista Arts premiered Shakespeare in the Park's first production of Julius Caesar, an hour-long, abridged version of the tragedy. In spring 2008, a production of Twelfth Night was presented in the park. In spring 2010, McBeth was brought to the stage, which combined the language of Shakespeare's Macbeth with Commedia dell'arte. The most recent production of Shakespeare in the park was Spring 2011 with The Merry Wives of Windsor.[8]

Nuestra Voz[edit]

Nuestra Voz, which means “our voice” in Spanish, brings teenagers from the Isla Vista Teen Center together with UCSB Drama students to collaborate and create an original theatrical work. Nuestra Voz began in 2005 as a solo performance festival.

The partnership between UCSB and the Isla Vista Teen Center continued with The Monument Project in May, 2006. Isla Vista teenagers teamed with senior citizens and UCSB students to create prototype monuments for their community. The Monument Project was presented in conjunction with the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA) conference hosted by UCSB.

In the spring of 2007, under the new name Nuestra Voz, local high school students created a performance in conjunction with the citizen-scholars in UCSB's course Teatro as a Teaching Tool. The performance, entitled Mosaic, was produced on June 2 in Embarcadero Hall.

In the summer of 2009, 14 teens spent 5 weeks in UCSB’s Studio Theater. They wrote, rehearsed, danced, built sets, and handled lighting and sound equipment. In the end, they filled the theater with friends, parents, siblings and their new UCSB student collaborators.[9]