CalArts 101: 10 Things New Students Need To Know (2016 Edition)

Welcome to the start of a new year at CalArts. | Image: CalArts

Welcome to new BFAs, MFAs and transfer students to CalArts orientation week. This is an exciting, but possibly also overwhelming, time for you. Last year, at 24700 we assembled a list of 10 things to help you get your bearings at CalArts. We’ve updated the list for the current school year, so read on!

  1. Arena Day. Course Advising Day is on Thursday, Sept. 8. Head on over to the Main Gallery at your designated time (check your CalArts email) where you can meet and greet your instructors before classes actually start (on Monday, Sept. 12), while the school fuels you with free snacks.
  2. Popcorn and bagels. Speaking of free food, Student Affairs hosts free popcorn and bagel days every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively.
  3. Pooches welcome. CalArts is a dog-friendly campus, so feel free to bring Max, Bella, Bear or Lola to class (actual most common dog names, according to the Los Angeles Times). Read CalArts’ pet policies.
  4. Caffeine run. For your caffeine—particularly espresso-based—needs, there’s Tatum Lounge, located on the 2nd floor right next to the Student Store. It’s open 8:30 am to midnight, and even transforms into a performance space at night. [Bonus tip: The Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement is now offering free coffee to all students on Mondays during business hours. Find them on the second floor—room F207—near the Accounting Office.]
  5. Taco Tuesdays. Get the tacos from the taco bar on Tuesdays at the CalArts Kafa when available. Trust us. The wood-fired pizzas are pretty great, too.
  6. Gallery Nights. Keep your Thursday nights free, because that’s when art gallery openings usually happen. It’s a great time to socialize and see what other CalArts students are working on, plus there are free music performances, too. The CalArts calendar has the complete list of events.
  7. All-gender bathrooms. CalArts has several all-gender bathrooms, with more being added all the time. Currently, there’s one in A205 and C201, two in the C-Art Studios, two in the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work, two near Stevenson Blanche Gallery, one in Butler Building #4 and one in Butler Building #5.
  8. Know your room nicknames. There are a lot of nicknames for rooms and places around campus. Here are just a couple: BB stands for the Butler Buildings; The Palace is located in the Character Animation department; and the eX-Box is the meeting space near the front reception (it used to be the former box office, hence the name).
  9. Room A113. For all you Pixar fans, a note about Room A113. Though the room has reached legendary status as an Easter Egg in every Pixar film, Character Animation classes are no longer held there. The students of the Program in Graphic Design have longed called the classroom home. You can still take pictures, though.
  10. Campus maps. Don’t worry about getting lost. We’ve been here awhile, and we still have to retrace our steps. We swear it’s not our bad sense of direction. Here are some campus maps to help you out.

To keep abreast of campus happenings, check out the CalArts calendar and the information pinned and taped to walls all over campus. We’re very proud of our poster culture and we think you’ll find that the posters are very informative. Also like our official Facebook page (California Institute of the Arts), follow us on Twitter (@calarts) and Instagram (@calarts), and join us on Snapchat (@snapcalarts).

Have a great first year!

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  1. Graciela // //

    I’m a International Student and need Info about being accepted at CALARTS procedures.

    Best a regards,