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SFSU to launch International Center for the Arts

January 28, 2005

Sin titulo (Untitled) a 1999 work by Ibrahim MirandaA new center based in the College of Creative Arts will add international zest to the Bay Area arts scene with festivals, exhibits, documentary film screenings and prizes showcasing the artistic life of regions and countries worldwide.

The International Center for the Arts, created with a $3 million gift from SFSU alumni George and Judy Marcus, will celebrate some of the world's most innovative art and artists, with a focus on documentary films and visual art.

Every year the center will present the George and Judy Marcus Prizes, three juried awards each worth up to $50,000. Artists whose work demonstrates excellence, emerging talent or lifetime achievement will earn the award. The center's regular programming will include a documentary film institute, an annual international celebration of the arts and biennial visual art exhibition.

Photo of George Marcus"The International Center for the Arts was inspired by my passion for the arts and my desire to recognize the University that helped contribute to my professional success," said George Marcus, founder and chairman of The Marcus & Millichap Co. "The center's programs will enhance the University's reputation for excellence in the arts, as well as provide a unique opportunity to showcase innovative artistic expression in the San Francisco Bay Area."

Marcus was born in Greece and moved to San Francisco at age 4. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from SF State in 1965, after two and a half years of study. In 1971 he founded The Marcus & Millichap Co., the parent company of a diversified group of real estate service, investment and development firms.

"George and Judy Marcus' extraordinary generosity and support of the arts usher in a new era in the artistic and cultural life of San Francisco State University and the greater San Francisco Bay Area," SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan said. "We are proud to be home to a center that will cultivate and present a broad vision of global arts and culture."

The center's annual international celebration of the arts will feature traditional and contemporary forms of art from a different region or country each year. The inaugural event, "To Cuba, With Love," opens Friday, March 4, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, and continues Saturday, March 5, on the SFSU campus, followed by an evening film program off campus.

"Nurtured by the talents and vision in the College of Creative Arts, we are thrilled that the International Center for the Arts and Marcus Prizes will challenge artistic endeavors and reward those who do cutting-edge, inspiring work," said College of Creative Arts Dean Keith Morrison, who is serving as interim executive director of the center while a director search is under way. "Students, faculty and the general public stand to benefit from this new venue for artistic creation and recognition."

Named SFSU Alumnus of the Year in 1989, George Marcus has long supported the University and its programs. He has served on the board and as chairman of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, which was formed to support the Nikos Kazantzakis Chair for Modern Greek Studies at SFSU. He previously donated more than $40,000 to the University for the Center for Modern Greek Studies, Cinema Department and student scholarships. Marcus is a member of the University of California Board of Regents and served on the California State University Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1989.

Judy Marcus earned her bachelor's degree in education from SF State in 1964. She is actively involved with several philanthropic endeavors throughout the Bay Area.

-- Matt Itelson


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Last modified January 28, 2005 by University Communications