The California Institute of the Arts
, commonly known as CalArts
, and located in Valencia, California, grants degrees in visual and performing
arts. Incorporated in 1961, it was the first degree-granting institution of higher learning
in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and the performing arts. It was the dream and vision of
Walt Disney to create such an institute, and it was initially formed through
the merger of the Chouinard Art Institute (founded 1921) and the Los Angeles Conservatory
of Music (founded 1883). It opened at its present campus in Valencia, California, in
November 1971.It offers degree programs in music, art, dance, film, video,
theater, and writing (critical studies).
Alumni include award-winning filmmakers, performers and artists. Distinguished alumni include Chuck Jones, Tim Burton, Brad Bird, and Craig McCracken.