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Arts for Life

Sweet Honey and the Rock leading an activity on the Carpenter Center stage
Sweet Honey and the Rock leads a free afternoon activity for CSULB students and local area residents.

The Carpenter Performing Arts Center, a major presenter of the best in performing arts experiences for CSULB and the Greater Long Beach area, is pleased to launch Arts for Life, a comprehensive education program to provide interactive, wide-ranging, hands-on arts activities for all ages.


Arts for Life offers programs in three areas: Classroom Connections for elementary schools, Campus Connections for CSULB students and faculty, and Community Connections for the Greater Long Beach community.


The goal of Arts for Life is to provide opportunities for everyone in the Carpenter Center area to enjoy access to arts experiences regardless of age, education or economic ability. Most activities will be free or have a low-cost admission. Several of them will take place at the Carpenter Center, others will be in other venues on the CSULB campus and in our community. 


Arts for Life is meant to complement the performances by national and international performing artists presented on the Carpenter Center stage.


We warmly invite you to learn more about the arts and join an Arts for Life activity!


“It is our hope that we can all work together to expose, enrich and empower Americans of all ages through the arts.” First Lady Michelle Obama


Arts for Life is generously funded by:


  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe
  • Kenneth C. Wang Family Foundation
  • Arts Council for Long Beach
  • Long Beach Rotary Charitable Foundation
  • Target Stores
  • California Arts Council

And generous individual donors.


View the Arts for Life Calendar




Classroom Connections, now in its 21st year, is arts instruction brought directly to students. Carefully designed to provide students with the opportunity to see fully-mounted productions in a world-class theatre, and to engage them in one-on-one interactions with artists in the classroom, the program provides a unique and personal arts experience.
The Classroom Connections program consists of three basic elements:
1) The program starts with an introductory workshop in each participating classroom by Carpenter Performing Arts Center teachers to introduce students to the artistic discipline, home country and culture, language, etc., of the artists they will meet. This introductory workshop follows California Visual and Performing Arts standards.
2) Usually a week after the introductory workshop, the artists themselves visit each school to lead an Artist Workshop with several classrooms. The content of these sessions varies from a demonstration of the art, a question and answer session, guiding students in a mini-production of their own artistic work in the classroom, and related activities.
3) Then, all participating classrooms come to the Carpenter Center to see the professional performance by the artists they met. This allows the students to see how the creative process they learned about in the classroom evolves into an actual performance.
All schools in the Long Beach Unified School District are invited to apply for the program, with all 1st through 5th grade classes in the district being eligible to participate in the program free of charge. Limited bus scholarships are available for those schools needing assistance with transportation to the final performance at the Carpenter Center.

To apply, please download and complete an application (PDF). Send completed application, with principal’s signature, to
 The Carpenter Center is honored to provide Classroom Connections to Long Beach area elementary schools at no cost to the schools. More than 3,000 students participate in Classroom Connections each school year, thanks to the generosity of:

  • Bess J. Hodges Foundation
  • California Arts Council
  • Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation
  • School For You Foundation
  • Arts Council for Long Beach
  • City of Long Beach
  • Percentage for the Arts

And generous individual donors.

California Arts Council logo


Arts Council For Long Beach logo


City of Long Beach logo


Miller Foundation logo


RuMBa Foundation logo



The Carpenter Performing Arts Center is not just a beautiful theatre presenting the best in national and international performing arts. It is also a vibrant part of the CSULB College of the Arts, providing opportunities for all CSULB students to expand and enrich their knowledge and appreciation of the arts. When professional artists visit Long Beach to perform on the Carpenter Center stage, the theatre’s Campus Connections program links them to faculty and students, to augment curriculum and expand student appreciation of the arts in real-world context. Campus Connections helps place the arts at the center of academic life, fostering deep, reflective and critical thinking.
Professional dancers work with dance students. Professional musicians work with music students. Professional actors work with theatre arts students. But that’s not all. Artists engage with students in History, Art, Human Development, Comparative and World Literature, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and other departments. Professional artists bring their world experience to CSULB classrooms, enlarging the scope of student learning on campus, and providing exciting connections to the world off campus.
Campus Connections is guided by faculty serving on the Campus Connections Advisory Council. Some faculty members participated in the Carpenter Center’s landmark two-year initiative on censorship, the B-Word Project, that established the theatre’s relationship with several academic departments. The Campus Connections Advisory Council provides a link between the theatre and faculty from all campus departments, creating new relationships to benefit students and enrich their CSULB education.
Campus Connections is funded by the CSULB Fund for Instructionally-Related Activities.


The largest arts presenter in Long Beach, the Carpenter Performing Arts Center has brought hundreds of national and international artists to its world-class stage, delighting thousands of audiences for more than eighteen years. Specializing in dance, music, theatre, spectacle and family events, the theatre has earned a well-respected reputation for high quality performances in a comfortable, inviting theatre. The theatre strives to keep ticket prices affordable for area families, to encourage family arts experiences.
With Arts for Life, the Carpenter Center will expand those arts experiences for all members of our community, offering hands-on opportunities to try the arts, to deepen understanding of the arts, to enjoy a social occasion with other arts enthusiasts, and to simply have fun with the arts! Working with professional artists, noted experts in the arts, and CSULB faculty members, the Community Connections program will link participants to a variety of arts experiences. All are meant to enhance and enrich your arts experience.
We invite you to read Shakespeare, see new documentary films, hear lectures on artists, and enjoy free concerts with acclaimed musicians. All for free and all from Community Connections and Arts for Life!