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USC officials to advance artist fellowships in Latin America

Cutietta and Romans to support second-year program in Mexico and Brazil

International musicians
Inaugural fellows Jacinto Astiazarán from Mexico, Vladimir Gorbach from Russia, Fei Kayser from China and Frederico Fernandez from Brazil (Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)

A new USC fellowship program that provides an opportunity for emerging artists to work in the creative capital of Los Angeles is getting a boost from a series of planned visits with top USC arts leaders, ministry of education officials and education leaders in Mexico City, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

USC Thornton School of Music Dean Robert A. Cutietta and USC Associate Provost Robin Romans will head to Mexico and Brazil in mid-September to promote the USC International Artist Fellowship, now in its second year, awarded to early career artists to pursue graduate study in one of USC’s preeminent arts schools: the USC School of Architecture, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the USC School of Dramatic Arts, the USC Roski School of Art and Design, and USC Thornton. A sixth arts school, the USC Kaufman School of Dance, does not offer graduate study.

The fellowship program, announced by Elizabeth Garrett, USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, at the university’s Global Conference in Hong Kong in 2011, provides tuition, travel and living expenses for students, allowing them to focus on creativity and supporting the production of new work.

The first class, which entered USC in fall 2013, included four artists from Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia, who will be joined this year by four fellows from Mexico, Canada, China and Australia.

Interaction among artists

The program is expected to grow to a total of 10 fellows who will stay at USC for two or three years, depending on the graduate arts degree they are pursuing. Fellows have regular and planned opportunities to interact with their peers, as well as with professionals working in Los Angeles’ various leading arts industries, including the downtown arts corridor and Hollywood.

Along with Romans, USC Fisher Museum of Art Director Selma Holo, USC Pacific Asia Museum Director Christina Yu Yu, the five arts deans — Cutietta (USC Thornton), Elizabeth M. Daley (USC Cinematic Arts), Qingyun Ma (USC Architecture), Madeline Puzo (USC Dramatic Arts) and Erica Muhl (USC Roski) — will promote the program during a series of recruiting trips across the entire Pacific Rim, South Asia and Latin America.

The USC arts leaders will highlight the benefits of studying in Los Angeles, a primary gateway to Latin America and Asia from the United States and one of the most vibrant arts cities in the world. They also will meet with representatives of ministries of education and others involved in arts education.

“USC President C. L. Max Nikias has highlighted the importance of the Pacific Rim to USC, and Dean Rob Cutietta and I are excited to travel to Mexico and Brazil to promote the program,” Romans said. “We believe that as the world’s focus continues to shift to these parts of the globe, the International Artist Fellowship program will help bring us closer together.”

In addition to the global benefits, Romans emphasized the fellowship’s positive impact upon the fellows themselves. “Assembling an international group of promising artists in Los Angeles will open new possibilities for creative expression,” he said.

For more information about the USC International Artist Fellowship, visit

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USC officials to advance artist fellowships in Latin America

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