Supporting the Arts Supporting the Arts

Supporting the Arts

Lynora Rogacs and Liesel Reinhart took the helm of PCC’s arts program in 2019 as the new Dean of Visual Arts and Media Studies and Dean of Performing and Communications Arts. They come to their respective positions after years of experience working as educators, producers, and artists themselves, which seems to be precisely what the program needs.

“Southern California is a national leader in the fields of creative arts,” Lynora explained. “Being able to anticipate the changes in L.A.’s labor market and understand how we can adapt to the demands of emerging fields such as digital media and creative coding is important to better prepare our students for jobs five, ten years from now.”

For Lynora, it’s about growing the arts program.  Supporting the Arts at PCC

Her background is in philosophy and social sciences, which is what she taught at PCC for 17 years. But art has always been a part of her life. Her mother was an artist; she’s married to a professional artist. And while art has been more of a hobby on Lynora’s part, her appreciation for it runs deep. 

“In addition to our students, I’m really interested in making our faculty feel supported—most of them are practicing artists,” she said. “We’re really fortunate that PCC is in an area that still values the arts. You see it everywhere you go in Pasadena. And it’s important to cultivate our current relationships in the community while also forging new connections and making sure we’re visible in the art scene.”

Supporting the Arts at PCCAnd this is precisely what Liesel has set out to do. As Dean of Performing and Communications Arts and former communications instructor at Mount San Antonio College, she has helped to establish a professional development program for students interested in getting real-life, hands-on experience in their field. 

“We live in the media capital of the world,” she said. “So for all of our musicians and communications majors, and for our television, radio, and film students, we’re focused on making a stronger pipeline to help them succeed. The industry wants their voices and diversity. It’s just about building up their resume.” 

The arts program, Liesel explained, is creating Studio PCA, an in-house production company that aims to provide students the training they need in everything from lighting design to post-production editing to podcasting. 

“We’re taking students who are halfway through their program,” she said. “They can join PCA, get training, and get hired for a job on campus. The studio’s doing TV, theater, and radio productions where the students are the ones designing the costumes, filming the scenes, and editing the footage under the supervision of faculty. They’re getting paid $15 an hour and building their resume.”

Notably, Pasadena City College may benefit from Studio PCA in a major way. The studio will be creating video packages for many of the college’s scholarship recipients and awards ceremonies this spring. These videos will explain who an award is named after; they will feature promotional videos about the college’s donors.  This program is funded by a grant from Perkins.  

Lynora and Liesel’s dual leadership shines a new light on PCC’s arts programs. And in a community where visibility of the arts—and opportunities for education—is so important, their vision is a welcome addition to the college.