Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D) received a $500,000 grant from The Steinman Foundation for its new major and a dean to lead it.
PCA&D said the grant will assist with the development of its new Live Experience Design & Production Major and its partnership with Rock Lititz and UK-based Academy of Live Technology (ALT).
Part of the grant enabled the college to hire the Steinman Dean, Institute for Leadership, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, who will guide the partnership.
PCA&D President Michael Molla said that the grant will be a major contribution to ensuring that the institute and the partnership can begin its work on a strong financial foundation.
PCA&D named Jason Hartz as Steinman dean, Molla said.
“We share a common goal with The Steinman Foundation to create Lancaster County’s workforce of tomorrow,” Molla said. “Our partnership with Rock Lititz and ALT is about just that, providing opportunities for students to receive a best-in-class education that draws diverse students from all over the globe.”
Andrea Shirk, president and CEO of Rock Lititz said, “It’s important to create opportunities for students to explore careers off the beaten path. Work in the live entertainment industry asks for both artists and technicians to find out-of-the-box solutions, to build today’s most immersive experiences. Integrating students into the working environment at Rock Lititz will provide a level of education only gained from trying something firsthand.,”
Through the partnership, students will become industry professionals on day one, learning next to experts and working on active projects with current gear, Shirk said.
Melding the strengths and expertise of PCA&D and the Academy of Live Technology, which has provided live production creative, technical, and professional skills to students since its founding in the United Kingdom in 2012, has allowed for a unique mix of skill sets and perspective necessary to create something truly cutting edge, Molla said.
“The live entertainment industry is innovative creativity at its best. It’s how you imagine, then actualize, what has never been done before. It’s what we ask of our students, to be bold, to see differently,” Molla said.
“The Steinman Foundation is pleased to support this creative and collaborative endeavor,” said Shane Zimmerman, president of The Steinman Foundation. The leadership team at PCA&D has seized upon an opportunity to partner with global leaders in the live entertainment industry and collectively they will leverage the opportunity to address a unique set of workforce demands.”
Hartz, who joins PCA&D from Adrian College, where he was an assistant professor of Art History and chair of the Art and Design department, earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Ohio University.
At PCA&D, Hartz has been fundamental in developing the Live Experience Design & Production curriculum and forging the partnership with ALT.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new role at PCA&D and move our ALT at Rock Lititz partnership to the next level,” said Hartz. “The support from the Lancaster community, as demonstrated by this generous gift from The Steinman Foundation, has been overwhelming.”
The first cohort of Live Experience Design & Production BFA students began with the fall semester. Classes are held both at the downtown Lancaster PCA&D facilities, and eventually at the Rock Lititz campus, where construction on ALT classrooms is expected to be completed in time for the Fall 2024 semester.
The new 22,500-square-foot Lititz facility will adjoin the existing large-scale rehearsal spaces, Studio 1 and Studio 2.
In addition to classrooms, it will house production space, digital labs, and a students’ common area, with the option of expanding to the second and third floors to meet future needs.
An additional rehearsal studio will accommodate productions creating shows within the clubs, theaters, and small amphitheater markets, while providing PCA&D students with hands-on experiences in production technologies.