University of Southern California

SCampus Student Guidebook

Student Activities

Arts at USC

Los Angeles is a dynamic center for the creative arts. This excitement is reflected at USC through diverse opportunities for involvement in the arts as a participant or observer.

USC Fisher Museum of Art

(213) 740-4561
Harris Hall

In 1937, USC accepted a gift from Elizabeth Holmes Fisher, the first woman to serve on the USC Board of Trustees, to construct the Elizabeth Holmes Fisher Gallery. Dedicated on November 14, 1939, it was renamed the USC Fisher Museum of Art in 2008. In addition, Mrs. Fisher, between 1939 and 1951, donated a total of 74 paintings, drawings, and sculptures by European and American artists.

The Fisher Museum also maintains a collection of some 1,800 individual works of art in a wide range of media, mostly painting, from old master works by Dutch, Flemish, British, French and Italian painters to contemporary Latin American and Mexican art. Fisher Museum is thrilled to collaborate with the Tutor Campus Center through the long-term loan of works of art from the permanent collection so that they may be viewed and enjoyed by thousands of our students and visitors to campus throughout the year.

The Fisher Museum of Art is also home to the USC International Museum Institute, or IMI. Created in 2006, IMI is a think tank for museum professionals, offering a wide variety of workshops and lectures broadening the discussion of museums, their impact on society and their future.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the USC Fisher Museum of Art is an institution of intellectual inquiry and aesthetic enjoyment not only for USC, but also for the local community and the greater Los Angeles area. During each exhibition, the museum offers a number of cultural activities to enhance the experience of the current show. Some program series include:

  • Yoga with Fisher@USC: yoga instructors use the paintings on display for inspiration and meditation.
  • Concerts with Fisher@USC: musical events utilizing the museum’s ideal acoustic space.
  • Films with Fisher@USC: regular film screenings in the galleries.
  • Families with Fisher@USC: community events held for families.

Admission to the museum and related events and programs is free. Group tours are also available by appointment. Please visit Fisher’s Website and the USC Arts and Events Calendar for information on current exhibitions and events. The Fisher Museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturdays 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. It is closed on university holidays and during the summer.

Helen Lindhurst Architecture Gallery

(213) 740-2723
Watt Hall

The USC Helen Lindhurst Architecture Gallery features the work of renowned architects and faculty members, students and alumni of the USC School of Architecture. The gallery hosts juried exhibits of architectural works, from the classic to the futuristic, with drawings, photographs, models and three-dimensional installations that blur the line between architecture and art. Recent shows have featured such leading architects as Renzo Piano, Santiago Calatrava, Alvaro Siza, Carlos Diniz and Herman Hertzberger.

Cinematic Arts

The Ray Stark Family Theatre and
Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Complex

Various divisions within the School of Cinematic Arts conduct special seminars and screenings featuring distinguished artists and scholars from film, television and interactive media. Recent events open to all audiences included conversations with Les Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation; Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer, Universal Studios, NBCUniversal; and Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group; screenings of Hollywood blockbusters have included films such as Argo, Django Unchained, Lincoln, Skyfall, Flight, Jack Reacher, Looper, Wreck-It Ralph, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Iron Man 3, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Evil Dead, Jack the Giant Slayer, as well as television shows such as Castle, The League, House of Lies, Nashville, Fringe, Justified, Breaking Bad, Party Down, Bones and Happy Endings.

The Outside the Box [Office] film series is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting international, documentary and independent cinema, including recent screenings of Compliance, Liberal Arts, Beasts of the Southern Wild, LUV, Smashed, Frances Ha, Your Sister’s Sister, Dark Horse, Cosmopolis, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Anna Karenina, Lost Highway, Samsara, 5 Broken Cameras and The Invisible War. More include The Gatekeepers, The Imposter, Searching for Sugar Man, The Central Park Five, The Queen of Versailles, Chasing Ice, Holy Motors, Rust & Bone, War Witch, Neighboring Sounds, Chicken with Plums, Blancanieves, A Royal Affair and Kon Tiki. 

SCA has hosted Visions & Voices Festivals: Nikkatsu at 100, Twin Peaks: A Series RetrospectiveContemporary South American Cinema and The Interrupters as well as the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts of ParsifalOtelloRigoletto and L’Elisir D’Amore.

See the calendar of screenings at Open screenings and displays of advanced student productions, including narrative, documentary, interactive, animated and experimental, will take place at various locations around campus. See for details.

The Summer Program offers intensive film and video production, entertainment business, visual effects, computer graphics, gaming and screenwriting courses. For more information, visit or call (213) 740-3327.

Music Performances

The USC Thornton School of Music, founded in 1884, is the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles. Internationally recognized as one of the top-tier music schools in the United States, the school presents more than 500 student and faculty performances throughout the year, both on and off campus. The USC Thornton Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Opera, Jazz Orchestra and a variety of other large and small ensembles present a broad range of musical styles. Through performances of a diverse repertoire, ranging from classics to modern music, these ensembles are a launching point for the finest musicians of the next generation.

The Thornton School is the only college music school with a regularly broadcast radio program heard in a major media market. Thornton Center Stage, broadcast Sundays at 9 p.m. on Classical KUSC 91.5 FM, is hosted by KUSC radio personality Alan Chapman and features the most exciting live performances of Thornton ensembles, archival recordings from the school’s golden age and the latest releases from artist faculty.


Even if you’ve decided not to major in music, you can continue developing your skills by joining one of the many choral or instrumental ensembles at USC. Many of the Thornton School’s performance groups are open to all students, though most require an audition. Ensemble classes earn one unit of credit per semester. You can also continue musical instruction by registering for group or private instruction, learn about the technical side of recording arts in workshops offered by the school, or work on your songs in the popular songwriting courses. For detailed information, call the Thornton School’s Office of Student Affairs at (213) 740-4721.


USC Radio operates a network of six stations in Southern California and a network of five stations serving Northern California as well. USC Radio is providing the only classical music and arts service for both regions and supports USC’s mission by making classical music and the arts a more important part of people’s lives. USC Radio operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a professional staff and also offers internships for qualified students.

Classical KUSC has offices and studios in downtown Los Angeles at 1149 S. Hill St. at the AT&T Center and operates KUSC-FM (91.5) Los Angeles, KUSC FM1 in Santa Clarita, KQSC-FM (88.7) Santa Barbara, KPSC-FM (88.5) Palm Springs, KDSC-FM (91.1) Thousand Oaks and KESC-FM (99.7) Morro Bay. Classical KDFC operates KDFC-FM (89.9 FM) in Napa/Sonoma, KOSC (90.3 FM) in San Francisco, KXSC (104.9 FM) in the Peninsula and South Bay, 90.3 FM Los Gatos and 92.5 FM Ukiah/Lakeport.

USC Spectrum

Director: Dane Martens
(213) 740-2167
Tutor Campus Center 427

USC Spectrum, a program of the Division of Student Affairs, presents an annual season of the finest in arts and entertainment by nationally and internationally known performers and speakers for the USC community and its Los Angeles neighbors.

Over the past 16 years, Spectrum has presented artists Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Wayne Shorter, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird and Esperanza Spalding as well as distinguished guests Deepak Chopra, Tom Brokaw, Manu Chao, Sherman Alexie, Eva Longoria, Diego Luna, David Gergen and more.

Visit for a list of current events and programs.

Studio Arts

USC Roski School of Fine Arts
(213) 740-2787
Watt Hall 104

The USC Roski School of Fine Arts offers courses at all levels in drawing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, design, digital photography and video. Over 200 students minor in art at USC and hundreds of non-Roski students enroll each year to enrich their capacity for aesthetic experience and transformative critical thinking. The undergraduate and graduate programs invite internationally distinguished artists, writers and curators for weekly lectures open to the public. Check the USC Roski Website for current listings.

USC Roski School of Fine Arts

Five USC galleries host unique exhibition programs throughout the academic year:

  • The Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery (WAH), home to a dynamic weekly program of merit-based solo and group exhibitions in all media
  • Gayle & Ed Roski MFA Gallery (IFT), dedicated to MFA group and solo presentations
  • 3001 Gallery and STATION (IFT), curated by Roski students, faculty and staff to promote exchange with visiting and LA-based contemporary artists
  • Superhighway (UGW), unique devoted to intermedia displays year-round

(213) 821-2744 (information)
(213) 740-2167 (tickets)

The USC School of Dramatic Arts’ season of performances is enjoyed each year by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, as well as many Los Angeles theatre-goers. New and contemporary plays, innovative productions of classical works and a spring musical are featured each year.

School of Dramatic Arts performances are staged in five different venues ranging in size from 100 to 550 seats, including the Scene Dock Theatre, the Massman Theatre, the McClintock Theatre and the mainstage Bing Theatre. Student tickets are available at the USC Ticket Office in the Student Union building for the discounted price of $5 for mainstage productions and $6 for musicals.

Additional activities include special staged readings of plays written by Master of Fine Arts dramatic writing students.

USC Arts and Events Calendar


The university’s online Arts and Events Calendar is the central source for listing cultural programming at USC. The calendar is searchable by keyword, by date or by type of event, and it can be accessed using RSS or Google Calendar. Anyone in the USC community may submit listings.

One comment on “Arts at USC”

  1. Matt Mallon // SCampus 2010-11 Says:

    [...] > Making the Scene [...]

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