Updated (Oct. 8, 3:40 p.m.)
Founding Director of the Emerson Los Angeles program Kevin Bright has extended his contract through the summer of 2017. Though his contract was originally slated to end in the summer of 2016, Bright said he plans to continue the work he started when ELA moved to its own building.
Bright was hired by Emerson in 2006, and began working with the LA program in 2013. He played a major role in designing the building for the new campus. Since then, he has been involved in transitioning the program to its new home.
“I expected to accomplish certain things within the three years and I need a little bit more time to accomplish those things, so I decided to stay for another year,” Bright said.
Bright said his main goal is to create full programs for students of all majors. He is working with his team, which includes Joyce Williams, director of business operations; Mikhail Gershovich, director of academic planning and digital learning; John Clayden, director of post-graduate and professional studies; and Chris Brunelle, assistant dean of students, to make the campus’ curriculum offerings useful for concentrations.
Bright said he wants to make ELA similar to a study abroad program, particularly for East Coast natives who would not otherwise have the opportunity to go to Los Angeles.
The group is currently working with Emerson’s Boston campus to determine what courses are needed to support non-visual and media arts students at ELA. They are hiring the appropriate faculty for the new programs, as well as integrating these courses into the curriculum.
“We’re tweaking ELA to be far more friendly to other majors,” Bright said. “We want to make sure students across majors are taken care of and have a reason to come out to LA.”
Bright says that he plans on also continuing the “The Future Has Your Name On It” fundraising campaign, but is hoping to restructure it. The campaign, originally intended to raise funds for the new building, will be used to support new programs at the Los Angeles campus. According to Beacon archives, the campaign had raised $5.3 million as of March 2015.
According to Bright, a visual and media arts capstone for graduate students is expected to launch in the spring. In addition, Bright said they are also potentially introducing a virtual reality filmmaking course and a course on national election coverage.
Correction: A previous version of this article, the Beacon identified Kevin Bright as the founder and director of Emerson Los Angeles and said he was hired by the college in 2013. Bright is actually the founding director of ELA, and claimed that title in 2013. Bright has also worked with the college since 2006.