Stories of Engagement

purple background about the city hall rotunda event
 H&A Marketing

San José Rotunda Concert Takes SJSU Compositions to New Heights

April 8, 2024

During one of last winter’s atmospheric rivers, Pablo Furman observed a peculiar noise being emitted from the Adobe building in downtown San José. On this particular morning, the sound of wind whipping between and through the building’s exterior facade created a haunting B minor chord. Ever the composer, Furman recorded the moment and set it aside for when the time came to create a new piece.


people on a stage holding kites
 Kevin Berne

“The Kite Runner” Flies Again at the Hammer Theatre, 15 Years Later

March 22, 2024

When “The Kite Runner” Broadway production returns to San José this spring, it creates a natural reunion for cultural advisor Ghilzai and stage adaptation author Spangler and members of the original stage cast like Lani Wong-Bassett, ’07 Advertising. 


several people dancing and point to the side of the photograph
 Robert C. Bain

“Ghostly Labor” is a Labor of Love

March 14, 2024

How can dance and music share the rich history of labor in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands with audiences? Nationally recognized Chicana-Native dancer, choreographer and educator Vanessa Sanchez will bring La Mezcla, a women-driven San Francisco-based dance and music company, to San José State’s Hammer Theatre on March 21 and 22 to perform “Ghostly Labor,” a production four years in the making.


viewers gathered around ruth asawa bas relief statue during day of remembrance for the japanese american internment
 Jim Gensheimer

Storytelling through the Arts: SJSU's Day of Remembrance

Feb 21, 2024

The arts allows for commemoration and storytelling alongside community members that instills a sense of belonging. Read about the Day of Remembrance to understand the impact of the Japanese-Internment during WWII. SJSU's Day of Remembrance occured on Feb. 19


whiteboard with instructions on how to create a comics series panel
 Patrick Samuels

Laughing My Activism Off

Jan 2024

Check out the intriguing Comics Workshop with comic artist, Breena Nuñez


print of california farmworkers
 Oscar Lopez

Your Food, Our Land, His Art

October 2023

Read about alumnus, Oscar Lopez, and his work with the Half Moon Bay farmworker community through a new mural


3d printed material objects

Yoon Chung Han: Ambassador of Art, Technology and Design

October 2023

Students and community members embedded into using 3D design and printing to communicate their own histories

Read more..

words sound scape on multi colored background

Downtown Soundscapes

May 2023

Watch Music faculty, Christopher Luna Mega, and students set up an interactive sound installation that engages with the soundscapes of the city as music

Watch more..

3 people on a stage seated with image of water behind them
 Patrick Samuels

The Hidden Life of Water: SJSU Brings Together Art and Science to Mark World Water Day

July 2023

Environmental Studies Department Chair Katherine Cushing, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Costanza Rampini and Director of Sustainability Debbie Andres share insight at the Hidden Life of Water


speaker with screen image behind
 Tram Le

Theater as Activism: The Beekeeper of Aleppo

July 2023

SJSU’s Department of Film and Theatre hosted a reading and a panel discussion on “The Beekeeper of Aleppo: Representing a Syrian Refugee Story on Stage"


considering matthew shepard poster

The Making of "Considering Matthew Shepard"

April 2023

Listen in on the moving history of Matthew Shepard as learned and then portrayed by the SJSU Choraliers for their April production.

Watch more...

young man with rifle poster for nisei short film

The Making of "Nisei," RTVF Summer 2023

April 2023

In Summer 2023, students in an undergraduate course in the Department of Radio, TV, & Film at San Jose State University worked on a short film, "Nisei." Watch their process and exploration.

Watch more...

meaning of linguistic diversity poster

The Meaning of Linguistic Diversity

April 2023

This set of interviews conducted by students of Linguistics and TESOL programs highlights community groups' effort to promote equity, inclusion and social justice as well as personal stories about speaking a particular language, dialect, and accent.

Watch more

colorful vietnamese mural with people
 Katherine D. Harris

Mapping Resistance Through Art

Dec 2022

Profile of incredible student, Lou Jimenez


image of aaron lington with saxophone
 Courtesy of Aaron Lington

Deep Dive in Five

Nov 2022

Read about how Jazz professor, Aaron Lington, puts together the wonderful Black Cab Jazz Concert Series with students in mind


group of people having a conversation
 Robert C. Bain

Spartan Film Studios to Produce Short Film in Honor of Japanese American WWII Soldiers

Nov 2022

Read about this important topic and how students gain important skills & perspective from this film production


dancer in hallway
 Angela Bass

Three Pathways to Dance

Nov 2022

Read about the ongoing social justice activities that three of our SJSU Dance majors focus on for their dance careers


john contreras painting on a mural board

The Art of Social Change

Aug 2022

Read about recent alum, John Contreras, and his community work

Read more

corie brown conducting
 Jim Gensheimer

Latin American Choral Festival

Aug 2022

Read about "Shining a Light on Inclusivity" through music

Read more..

people involved in painting utility boxes

ArtBoxSJ Collaboration with SUN Board

June 2022

Read about our "Spartan Artists Commissioned to Beautify South University Neighborhood"

Read more

water fire ecoacoustics flier

Water & Fire Ecoacoustics

May 2022

Listen in as Mark Wong (Master's in Music) describes how he turned wildfire data and his own language into a composition

Watch here

logo for the student club dpwc

Diasporic Peoples Writing Collective

April 2022

This SJSU student group offers an opportunity to engage local voices in significant and exciting ways.

Hear those voices

dancers and orchestra at the beethoven ball

Beethoven Ball

April 2022

Watch dancers as they enjoy the Beethoven Ball, featuring Danse Libre and the SJSU Symphony Orchestra 

Watch dancers

legacy of poetry flier

Legacy of Poetry Festival '22

April 2022

SJSU has a long history of poetry & spoken word, which is celebrated every April with this year's theme, "Can Poetry Save the Planet?" 

Watch Legacy of Poetry

logo for young artists competition

Arts as Emancipatory Education

Mar 2022

Susan Verducci collaborated with Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) to bring the 2022 Young Artist Showcase Competition to this year's conference

See the winners

title of op ed with images of authors.

Thinking Out Loud

Mar 2022

Étienne Brown and Chelsea Thompto say more about big tech in a Newsweek op ed resulting from their QuickBites appearance in Nov 2021

Read more

5 people on stage with red curtain.

Talkback with Student Dancers

Feb 2022

Student dancers grapple with questions about identity in the post-performance talkback after Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Watch here

green grass mural boards kids.

SJSU Mural Club @ VivaParksSJ

Dec 2021

John Contreras & friends return with the SJSU Mural Club to help kids find their creativity at VivaParksSJ 

Watch here

painter with mural mult color

SJSU Mural Club Slinging Paint @ VivaCalleSJ

Nov. 7, 2021

John Contreras (@john.contreras_91) organizes the SJSU Mural Club's community mural painting corner at the Nov 2021 VivaCalleSJ

Watch here...

map in light blue and grey

San Jose Story Map

May 2021

Welcome to a sneak peek of the San José Story Map, a cultural map of the San José area through art and literature originated by previously unheard voices

Watch more

bell blue sky
 Bay Area News Group File Photo

Sounds of El Camino Real bring new, diverse perspectives

Sept 24, 2021

Dean Shannon Miller, Marcela Davison Aviles, and Kat Taylor discuss "How do you sing a song of the open road when the road was never open to begin with?" in this San Jose Mercury News opinion piece.


billboard sky dancer

Covid Bubbles: Californians Dress For Emergence

June 18, 2021

Professor Robin Lasser of the Department of Art and Art History has recently completed an art commission, granted by Governor Gavin Newsom, to represent the city of San José, installed as billboards along Highway 101.


in your own words logo

A Community Collection of COVID-19 Experiences

June 23, 2021

How will the Bay Area remember the COVID-19 pandemic? For University Archivist Carli Lowe, the pandemic has offered a unique opportunity to interact with history in real time. 


people outside on grass with instruments


June 2021

SJSU's Latin Jazz Ensemble plays "Lluvia" on campus safely and enthusiastically

Watch here...

people playing at a wall

Teeter Totter Building Bridges instead of Walls

Spring 2021

Using a teeter totter to connect across the U.S.-Mexico border (Expressions p.26)


poster future art exhibits

Future of Alternative Art Exhibits

May 6, 2021

Dorothy Santos, one of the artists who participated in the roundtable, reflects on the future of art exhibits


zoom screen of musicians with wind instruments

Last Breaths

March 2021

David Vickerman tells us about how "Last Breaths" by Armando Bayolo becomes part of the immediate social fabric of the world - with appearance by the artist before the Wind Ensemble plays.

Watch here...

various postcard designs

Wish You Here Postcards

"Wish You Were Here: A Postcard from Home" invited communities to design postcards from home (Expressions p.36)


multiple screens of singers

Wall of Song 

April 2021

This 2021 version of Wall of Song Project's latest growing collective video chorus was developed into a virtual multi-channel video installation for our "FEELING GOOD: Celebrating National Girls & Womxn in Sports Day with a Wall of Song"

Watch here...

author poster

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram on code and poetry

April 15, 2021

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, author Travesty Generator, in conversation Dr. Kathi Inman Berens, uses open-source coding to generate haunting inquiring elegies to Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner, and Emmett Till. 

Watch here...

screenshot of making staying alive

Behind the Scenes of student film "Staying Alive"

April 2021

How does a student film get made? Who's working behind the scenes? 

Watch here...

image of book exercise in trust

An Exercise in Trust: Book Club Recap

March 8, 2021

On February 21, at 4 PM, members of the Center for Literary Arts community joined our discussion of Trust Exercise led by Patti Johnson Dorton via Zoom. 


4 people playing wind instruments

Our New Day Begun

Jan 28, 2021

See how the Honors Wind Ensemble played concerts of original scores during out COVID-19 shelter-in-place

Watch here...

creating living video opening screenshot

Creating "The Living"

February 15, 2021

Learn how directors, actors, stage production created a live theatre production of "The Living" during COVID-19 shelter-in-place

Watch here...

image of equipment and dance behind the scenes

SJSU Dance Behind the Scenes

June 23, 2021

What does it take to create a live site-specific performance across campus during the times of COVID-19 shelter-in-place? See how dancers worked tech, learned choreography, and stayed safe for their livestream performances.

Watch here...

image of virtual reality entering screen

Virtual Exhibit of Beethoven's work

Jan 29, 2021

Walkthrough of the virtual exhibition "Beethoven Beyond Borders" created in Mozilla Hubs in celebration of Beethoven's 200th birthday, Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

Watch here...

mlk image

Hammer Theatre Center Hosts Virtual Letter-Writing 

Jan 14, 2021

To honor MLK's legacy while addressing the destructive impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic, staff members from the Hammer Theatre Center invited the public to a virtual gathering to write letters to healthcare workers and patients recovering from COVID-19


video start of dream project making of

The Making of "[dreamer] project: an Undocuplay"

July 10, 2020

Catch a behind-the-scenes look at the SJSU production, [Dreamers] Project: An UnDocuplay.

Watch here...

letters description about bomba

Bomba: Breaking Barriers with Music and Dance

April 30, 2020

Bay Area Bomba ensemble Taller Bombalele held an online webinar where they taught about the history of Puerto Rican music and dance style Bomba and even showed us a few moves! 

Watch here...

image of frankenstein monster silouhette

It's Alive! Frankenstein Turns 200

Dec 2018

As Frankenstein turns 200, San Jose State explores the complex relationship between the humanities, science and technology.