After Bruce Spain retired from the position of the director for the Center of the Fine Arts in September, Rick Christophersen was appointed as the new director in February.
Christophersen was previously the Director of Administrative Operations at Chapman University for 13 1/2 years before coming to El Camino. Christophersen describes his new position as an expansion upon his previous one.
“I have an expanded role here in the artistic programming,” Christophersen explains. “I’m now primarily responsible for the direction of the arts.”
Christophersen said he has enjoyed his time at El Camino so far, describing the staff as terrific and very welcoming. He really enjoyed his first day, where the El Camino faculty held a luncheon to welcome him.
“It was nice,” Christophersen explained, “it was a really good icebreaker for me.”
Christophersen said has been getting settled in at El Camino, trying to go around and meet as many faculty members as possible, as well as meet a lot of the students.
One of Christophersen’s biggest goals for El Camino is to interact with the students and get their input on what they are interested in. He said also hopes to engage more of the community members around El Camino, in addition to the EC community itself, in order to expand the crowds coming in.
One of Christophersen’s goals to help the EC Fine Arts division is to improve the ticketing system at the Marsee Auditorium in order to help the local community around El Camino have an easier time getting tickets to events. He also said he hopes to improve the Fine Arts website, feeling that it could use some polishing and make it more user-friendly.
Christophersen has really enjoyed interacting with the professional guest artists, as well as seeing them work with students.
“The satisfying part is working with the pros in their fields,” Christophersen explained, “and also watching and seeing the students get something out of it [guest artists teaching students].”
Christophersen also hopes to really build the season of events well, trying to make sure to spread out the variety of events.
“It’s like putting a puzzle together,” Christophersen described. “I really want to make sure to spread everything out, and make it marketable.”
Christophersen hopes to bring a great balance to the programs, and says that he has a terrific staff to help with it.
“It takes a lot of people to do it,” Christophersen explained. “We have a terrific staff to help.”
Christophersen has found the location of his office at El Camino both a major advantage and slight disadvantage in his doing his job compared to Chapman University.
“The office’s pace is a lot more different here,” Christophersen explained. “At Chapman University, there was a lot more foot traffic by my office. It’s a lot quieter here, which gives me more time to focus.”
Christophersen has always wanted to share his love of the arts, and knew early on that he wanted to be on the managing side of the arts. Christophersen hopes to use his knowledge and expertise to help El Camino’s program grow, and to improve the patron experience.