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Break preparation

Young Californian creatives converge on CalArts

Posted: August 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Acting student Vanessa Reyes, 16, of Canyon High School, right, and her classmates interact in a exercise at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia on Thursday.

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Hoping to follow in the footsteps of famous graduates like pop singer Katharine McPhee or actors James Franco and Zac Efron, hundreds of teens Friday wrapped up an exclusive four-week summer camp program for arts students at CalArts.

The program, known as the California State Summer School for the Arts, frequently receives nearly 2,000 applicants for 500 spots, according to director Michael Fields.

The program is hosted by the Valencia art school, which shares its facilities with the state-sponsored program.

It offers seven areas of study: dance, creative writing, film, music, visual arts, theater and animation.

“There’s been a great history of people coming back,” Fields said, listing the program’s famous alumni.

And sometimes, other stars take time out of their schedules to talk to, and teach, the students.

“We had (director) Spike Jonze here last year,” Fields said.

More recently, an interdisciplinary push has produced a number of great creative ideas, he said.

When challenged to come up with ideas for a “99 Cent Festival,” students from the theater program and some design students collaborated on a fashion show with outfits made of newspapers.

The program is in its 26th year, and students have to audition for the camp based on their respective disciplines.

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