In 1964, a group of art enthusiasts collaborated to form a group to support the arts at California State University, Long Beach, or Long Beach State, as it was known at the time. The result was the formation of a nonprofit called the Fine Arts Affiliates (FAA), which resolved to support art students.
“The first group of founders were not all artists,” said Elaine Marks, who serves as FAA’s historian. “Some were collectors and others were just supporters of the new college in town.”
Fifty-one years later FAA continues to exclusively support the arts at CSULB by offering 15 scholarships for students studying Dance, Design, Theatre Arts, or Film and Electronics in the College of the Arts; and for students of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and the School of Art. Marks said FAA decided to support the campus because it wanted to “be a part of making the art department first-rate by helping talented and deserving art students reach their potential.”
“The FAA has contributed more than half a million dollars to scholarships over the years,” said Bethany Price, the communications and outreach director for COTA and an FAA member.
Illustration alumnus Jorge Hurtado (’97, BFA) is a former recipient of an FAA scholarship. Before receiving the award, Hurtado said he did not feel connected or noticed by the campus. On top of that, he was going to school full-time, working many hours at his job, and had little time to explore what the campus had to offer.
But after receiving notice that he had been nominated for an FAA scholarship, Hurtado said a professor urged him to submit an application. Soon after, he was chosen to be a recipient, which led him to use the scholarship to pay for his tuition for one year.
“Receiving the scholarship made me feel valued, and it definitely helped me financially,” Hurtado said. “I felt more encouraged to pursue my academic goals, and I felt a deeper feeling of belonging to the university.”
Sculpture student Juliet Johnson is a recent recipient of the scholarship. She says she thinks it is a fantastic scholarship.
“I’m able to be a little more ambitious with my practice, and I can more easily afford materials, not to mention just having a little financial security is invaluable on its own,” Johnson said.
The nonprofit group raises money through donations, by organizing excursions in Los Angeles and Orange County and through other related activities. Since FAA is an all-volunteer organization that is open to anyone, it also raises money through annual membership dues.
With 215 members currently, FAA welcomes anyone who would like to join and contribute to the vision of supporting and encouraging the arts at CSULB.