2003-205 University Catalog spacer
California State University, ChicoTable of ContentsSearchDegreesCoursesScheduleHome spacer
A Dance Show The Band is Ready for the Show The People Behind the Scenes The Guitar Player



University Public Events


The University Public Events mission is to present Chico and the Greater North State Region with culturally diverse, nationally acclaimed performing arts programming including dance, music, theater, and lecturers. The cultural scene in Chico is enriched by more than 80 events and performances a year sponsored by University Public Events (UPE). In addition to overseeing and coordinating all events that are open to the public on the CSU, Chico campus, University Public Events hosts world renowned artists, speakers, and a wide variety of musical and theatrical performances through their Chico Performances presenting program. Chico Performances also provides education and instruction opportunities for CSU, Chico students, faculty, and the community through the introduction of visiting lecturers, authors, and artist performers to classrooms and community centers to conduct workshops, lecture demonstrations, and master classes. UPE also directs the University Box Office and manages the Facility Reservations system for the Chico State campus.


The facilities at California State University, Chico are available for community and civic groups, as well as for private and commercial use. The initial request for facility availability may be made by phone through the Facilities Reservations office, call 530-898-6118. If a venue is available, a written request must be submitted.


Tickets for all events on campus that require admission (including music, theatre, dance, athletics, and special events) are available through the University Box Office. In addition to selling tickets to events, the University Box Office has up-to-date information on scheduled events and offers tickets to the Chico Performances Field Trip series and Chico State Kids Club memberships.


The Chico Performances presenting program strives to educate and entertain students, faculty, and community members through its internationally acclaimed, culturally diverse performing arts programming, which includes dance, music, theater, authors, family programming and lecturers. Recent productions have included performances by The Buena Vista Social Club, Arlo Guthrie, Hal Holbrook, Keb’ Mo’, Zap Mama, Sam Bush, the Gyuto Monks, Mark O’Connor, and the Mark Morris Dance Company.

The impact of Chico Performances extends far beyond the stages at Chico State. Aside from the evening performances, Chico Performances hosts a variety of programs that enrich, entertain and educate north state audiences. These programs include:

Master Classes/Lectures Demonstrations/Workshops

Many of the artists who perform for Chico Performances participate in lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and master classes as a way to enrich the experience of live performance. While many of these activities are designed for general audiences, others provide advanced training for students and personal contact with professional artists.

Field Trip Performances

Aimed at students K-12, this “just for kids” series features condensed performances by the same artists who perform in the evenings. Planned specifically for classrooms, field trips are offered in the morning hours. To help maximize the educational experience, Chico Performances often supplies participating teachers with informational packets about the artists. On an average, 30,000 elementary school students pass through the doors of Laxson Auditorium annually to see artists perform.

Adopt-A-Class program

The Adopt-A-Class program links businesses, schools, and the performing arts. Through the Adopt-A-Class program businesses can underwrite or sponsor the cost of a Field Trip attendance by local schoolchildren. Over the last few years, more than 35 businesses have sponsored more than 3,000 schoolchildren’s attendance to the Chico Performances Field Trip program.

Chico State Kids Club

This popular program, for children ages 14 and under, helps introduce the arts to our children. Developed as a way for parents to affordably take their children to performing events, this program has greatly increased the number of children attending Chico Performances programs. For a minimal cost, a Chico State Kids Club membership includes a T-shirt, membership card, and admittance to five performing events for a child accompanied by an adult.

Media Nights/Open Rehearsals

For selected performances, Chico Performances hosts open rehearsals and media nights, allowing the community a unique, behind the scenes glimpse of final dress rehearsals.

Pre-Performance Dinners and Post-Performance Receptions

Chico Performances’ dinners and receptions allow for a special night out. These themed events include dinner and a ticket to the performance to help raise support and awareness of the Chico Performances program. In addition to dinners, Chico Performances offers receptions to select events, as well as book signings by visiting authors and meet-and-greets by performers after select shows.

Chico World Music Festival

Each fall, Chico Performances hosts The Chico World Music Festival featuring artists from throughout the world. The Saturday and Sunday daytime performances are free to everyone and feature continual performances on three stages. The festival also includes a children’s program, fine food, crafts and artisans booths, along with free musical workshops and a student art display. Friday and Saturday evening’s festival headliners perform in historic Laxson Auditorium, and showcase some of the worlds leading musicians. Past headliners have included Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, Iris DeMent, Rickie Lee Jones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Inti Illimani with Paco Pena, Christopher Parkening, and Jubilant Sykes.

President’s Lecture Series

Launched in 1998, the prestigious President’s Lecture Series has hosted several Nobel Peace Prize winners, along with other high profile speakers. Co-sponsored by Chico Performances, this community-oriented event is also sponsored by the Office of the President and the Provost’s office at CSU, Chico, along with several community and business sponsors. Past lecturers have included Shimon Peres, Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Oscar Arias, Jose Ramos-Horta, Mary Matalin and James Carville.


Laxson Auditorium
Constructed in 1930, Laxson Auditorium is one of California’s finest performance venues. The beautiful and award-winning Romanesque architectural style brick design facility houses state of the art production facilities. Featuring a proscenium arch as well as a stage with a removable orchestra pit, Laxson Auditorium is a showcase venue for professional productions as well as student and community staged performances. The largest performance facility in the area, Laxson has seating for 1,250.

Harlen Adams Theatre
Newly remodeled, Harlen Adams Theatre in the Performing Arts Building serves as a classroom and learning facility, as well as being used for cultural offerings in drama, opera, recitals, and choral programs. It also houses the university’s Centennial Pipe Organ. Harlen Adams Theatre seats 507 people and has a 40-foot proscenium stage.

Wismer Theatre
Wismer Theatre was designed for intimate theatre-in-the-round performances, and seats anywhere from 100-200 people. It is a “black box” theater and has a full complement of sound and lighting capabilities.

Ruth Rowland Taylor Recital Hall
Ruth Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall, dedicated during homecoming activities on Oct. 25, 1981, is used for operas, recitals, concerts, choral workshops, performance art shows, and other university gatherings. The hall seats 218 people.

Acker Gymnasium
Home of the Chico State basketball and volleyball teams, Acker Gymnasium was originally constructed in the 1960s and recently renovated with new flooring, seating, and sound system. Includes a lobby with concessions area. Capacity: 2,000.

Shurmer Gymnasium
A full-size gym with some bleacher seating, Shurmer is used primarily for practices, recreational leagues, physical education classes, and other events. This facility can accommodate one full-size basketball court, or three smaller courts. Capacity 1,800.

University Stadium
A lighted, outdoor facility with bleacher seating, University Stadium includes an all-weather track and football-sized, natural-grass field. Capacity: 8,000.

University Soccer Stadium
A lighted, natural-turf field constructed in 2001, the University Soccer Stadium includes permanent bleacher seating and sound system. Capacity: 3,800.

Nettleton Stadium
Home to the two-time national champion Chico State baseball team, Nettleton Stadium was constructed in 1997. The natural-turf, lighted facility includes locker rooms, concessions stands, and picnic areas. Capacity: 4,200.

The Campus Grounds and Special Environs
The campus grounds and special environs like the Albert Warrens Reception Center, the George Peterson Rose Garden, Alumni Glen, the several recreation fields, open lawns and congregation areas in front of Kendall Hall, Glenn Hall, along Chico Creek, various campus courtyards and other quiet spots are available for public and private events including outdoor concerts, weddings, receptions, and ceremonies of many kinds. All may be reserved through Facilities Reservations.