This is an archived version of the University Catalog and is no longer being maintained. References to people, offices, policies, and web links may be outdated. View the current catalog or email for updated information. Students who have catalog rights to this version of the catalog should check with an advisor for graduation requirements.

Skip to Side Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Accessibility Settings

Performing And Visual Arts

Part of any university experience of quality is the cultural richness provided by its performing and visual arts. Whether enthusiastic novices or serious pre-professionals, students will find an enormous array of artistic choices.

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts subscribes to a philosophy which seeks a balance between theory and practice, and we are justifiably proud of the large number of working artists among our faculty. Chico's reputation as an artistic center in Northern California is the result of the collective commitment by faculty, alumni, administration, and student-artists to the highest standards in every facet of the artistic experience. Our large appreciative audiences know that quality in the arts resides within the talent of the individual and the dedication of the ensemble.

Performance Facilities

The performance hubs at Chico are the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Arts and Humanities Building (ARTS). Whereas PAC houses the 500-seat Harlen Adams Theatre, the 150-seat Larry Wismer Theatre, and the 200-seat Ruth Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall. ARTS is home to the 167-seat Paul and Yasuko Zingg Recital Hall. Both facilities include faculty and department offices, classrooms, as well as a variety of studios and rehearsal spaces. The venues are served by fully equipped scene and costume shops and spacious make-up and dressing facilities, which are located in PAC. All of our theatres—including Chico's 1,300-seat Laxson Auditorium--possess state-of-the-art computerized lighting systems. Click here for more information and photos of our performance facilities.


The University is home to four galleries with a wide range of exhibition calendars:

The Jacki Headley University Art Gallery is located in the Arts & Humanities Building, Room 121 and focuses on contemporary art, presenting exhibitions featuring regional, national, and international artists. The gallery also hosts the MFA culminating exhibitions and the Annual Juried Student exhibition.

Masters of Fine Arts Gallery is located in the Arts & Humanities Building, Room 122 and features rotating exhibitions of work by Master of Fine Arts students.

The B-So Space is tucked into Ayres Hall, Room 105 and is a student-centered space primarily used for BFA students' culminating solo exhibitions. The gallery space provides them with valuable experience in installing, promoting, and showcasing their work in preparation for continued professional work after graduation. The remaining available weeks feature work from various art classes and student clubs. Exhibitions change every one or two weeks.

The Janet Turner Print Museum is located in the Arts & Humanities Building, Room 123 and is a visual resource for the university with its calendar of public exhibitions utilizing the Turner Print Collection of over 3,500 prints. It supports student artists with its annual juried student print exhibition, and the National Print Competition is held every other year with print artists from the United States and abroad.

North State Symphony Orchestra

Truly a "town/gown" affair, the North State Symphony Orchestra is a collection of the finest instrumentalists from both the campus and the North State. The orchestra's season features world-class guest soloists, a great standard repertoire, exciting premieres, a four concert subscription series in two cities, as well as special concerts in various locales.


The College of Humanities and Fine Arts is home to the School of the Arts, the performing and visual arts center of the University, and offers more than 200 performances and exhibitions a year. Our galleries, studios, concert halls, and theatres feature faculty and students as well as guest artists; and our art, music, and theatrical presentations are seen by thousands of campus and community members every year. Visit the School of the Arts for more information about the current performance season.

Ways to Get Involved

All students, both music and non-music majors, have the opportunity to express themselves musically in a friendly yet challenging environment that brings out the talents and strengths of each performer. Chico State's Department of Music and Theatre offers a variety of ways to get involved, such as bands, ensembles, and performances from which to choose, such as band, keyboard, choral programs, opera workshop, and theatre productions.

CSU Summer Arts

CSU Summer Arts is a multidisciplinary systemwide program offering academic credit plus a festival in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The academic component offers two- and three-week residency courses for undergraduates, graduates, professionals, and community members in creative writing, dance, music, film, video, theatre, performance, visual arts, design, arts education, and new technology.

Catalog Cycle:20