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ArtPower!’s ‘Big Bang’ Benefits Student Engagement with the Arts April 26

UC San Diego fundraiser supports the establishment of the Student Engagement Endowment Fund to sustain arts programming for students in perpetuity


  • Kristin Luciani

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  • Kristin Luciani

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Photo: Matinee with the Nile Project

Matinee with the Nile Project Caption: Local K-12 students enjoy a matinee performance by The Nile Project

Audiences who attend an ArtPower! event don’t just watch a performance—they engage with the artists and get a taste of the creative process. On Sunday, April 26, philanthropists will enjoy a sampling of the organization’s unique approach at the University of California, San Diego’s annual Big Bang at ArtPower! fundraiser. Co-chaired by Joan Jordan Bernstein and Martha Dennis, the celebration includes a festive lunch, a live master class with a UC San Diego student string quartet and a special performance by members of the acclaimed Amphion String Quartet. The event is open to the public and all proceeds will benefit the organization’s student engagement programs, with the goal of creating the ArtPower! Student Engagement Endowment Fund.

ArtPower! at UC San Diego presents a multi-arts season of creative experiences in dance, chamber music, jazz, global music, film and more for the campus and San Diego community. A primary goal of the organization is to make the arts engaging and accessible for both university and K-12 students throughout the community. To this end, ArtPower! offers reduced-price student tickets to performances and activities ranging from concerts in residence halls to hands-on workshops with performing artists.

“Student engagement is at the core of everything we do at ArtPower!. We have the unique opportunity to not only expose students to new art forms, but to also connect them to groundbreaking artists that will expand students’ creative potential,” said Jordan Peimer, executive director of ArtPower!. “These programs simply would not be possible without the support of the community. Through the leadership of event co-chairs Joan Jordan Bernstein and Martha Dennis, ArtPower! is raising new funds to create an endowment to sustain this organizational commitment and build deeper and more meaningful arts engagement experiences for students.”

Photo: Dance Master Class

UC San Diego students participate in a dance master class with the San Francisco-based ODC Dance Company

Bernstein and Dennis, co-chairs of the 2015 Big Bang, are longtime supporters of ArtPower!. Both are inaugural members of Power!Players, a group of community friends who provide financial support for the organization’s programing, artistic direction and engagement activities, as well as advocate for the arts and arts education in San Diego.

“It is wonderful to see ArtPower! reach the next generation of audience members and next generation performers,” said Dennis. Bernstein added: “The establishment of the Student Engagement Endowment Fund at UC San Diego’s ArtPower! is something that is very near to my heart. It will help to ensure that these critical student engagement programs receive funding in perpetuity.”

Funds raised through the Big Bang event will benefit ArtPower! student engagement programs, including:

  • Free Matinee Performances – In addition to UC San Diego students, ArtPower! reaches K-12 audiences through special free matinee performances to introduce San Diego’s youth to the performing arts—and to life on a university campus.
  • ArtPower! in the Classroom – A new program launched for the 2014-2015 season, ArtPower! in the Classroom provides music students at The Preuss School UCSD with live performances and Q&A sessions with world-class chamber music quartets.
  • Dance Master Classes – UC San Diego students learn from professional dancers and choreographers. Taught by some of the best artists in the field, master classes provide new perspectives and inspiration for aspiring dance professionals. ArtPower! also works with transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project, a local nonprofit that cultivates young performers in San Diego.
  • Concerts in Close Quarters – A series of free music performances for UC San Diego students by the world’s leading artists, taking place in spaces that are comfortable and accessible to the student population, such as campus residence halls and student lounges.
  • Filmatic Festival – A unique festival that explores the art of science and cinema for adventurous media lovers. The event offers UC San Diego undergraduate and graduate students the chance to screen their films, showcase their research through installations, network with industry professionals and take part in workshops to advance their skills in digital storytelling.
  • Innovators in Residence – Extended residencies with innovative artists in diverse performing arts genres that inspire UC San Diego students in all majors through art co-creation experiences, open rehearsals, workshops, panels and master classes.

The Big Bang at ArtPower! takes place at noon on Sunday, April 26 at the UC San Diego Faculty Club. The event is open to the public and tickets are $250. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (858) 534-7657 or email To learn more about ArtPower! at UC San Diego, visit

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