Carsey Foundation Gift of $2.5 Million to UC Santa Barbara to Help Establish Center for Film, Television and New Media

UC Santa Barbara has received a leadership gift of $2.5 million from the Carsey Family Foundation, of Los Angeles, to support the construction of a Center for Film, Television and New Media.

It will be one of the first facilities at a major research university where faculty members from the arts, humanities, and social sciences collaborate to teach and conduct research on film, television, and mass media from a variety of cultural, historical, and social perspectives.

UCSB is known for its strong interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research.

The new center brings together students and scholars from UCSB's nationally renowned departments of film studies and communication, as well as more than 15 other departments that study film, video, television, and emerging media.

It will provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment capable of studying everything from silent films to the latest in digital media and satellite communications.

"We applaud Marcy Carsey and her family for the boldness of their vision, and thank them for demonstrating their confidence in the creativity and leadership of our faculty in a way that will provide tremendous benefits to tomorrow's students," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

"Marcy is a very special friend of our campus.

She serves as a UCSB Foundation trustee, and we are fortunate to have her innovative thinking and guidance.

We also are truly grateful for her generosity and her friendship."

A total of $15 million in private philanthropic support is being sought for the center, which will house a 325-seat public theater, a 150-seat instructional theater, a production suite, a digital media research laboratory, and climate-controlled film and television archival space.

The private gifts will augment state funding for a new academic building complex that is scheduled to break ground in 2005, pending voter approval of a state bond initiative.

"This visionary gift will help us build a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance undergraduate education, promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship, and serve the community with a public film theater," said David Marshall, dean of humanities and fine arts.

The Carsey Foundation gift "will allow us to create the first such facility in the UC system where humanists and social scientists collaborate to teach and study all forms of mass media, using the interpretive powers of the humanities, the aesthetic perspective of the arts, and the quantitative methodology of the social sciences," said Constance Penley, director of the center and professor of film studies.

The Center for Film, Television and New Media will enhance the education of more than 4,500 students who each year enroll in related programs and courses.

"It is a pleasure for us to be able to support this extraordinary university with its outstanding programs in film, television, and new media and its innovative interdisciplinary approach to education," said Carsey.

An Emmy Award-winning television producer, Carsey is a partner of The Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Company, which was responsible for The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, That 70's Show, and Grounded for Life.

In addition, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach has joined forces with Geraldine Laybourne, former head of Nickelodeon, and talk show host and magazine publisher Oprah Winfrey to create Oxygen, a multimedia company with a new television network and interactive Internet site specifically for women.

The Carsey Family Foundation is a member of the Lancaster Society, UCSB's premier giving society.

"This new center will place UCSB at the forefront of research and teaching in both traditional and newer media technologies," said Edward Donnerstein, an authority on mass communications and dean of social sciences. "The unique collaboration of the humanities and social sciences will make UCSB the premier place for faculty and students to pursue the highest level of inquiry in this new age of media technology."

Additional UCSB departments associated with the center are art studio, Asian American studies, chicano studies, women's studies, black studies, media arts and technology, dramatic art, dance, music, sociology, political science, English, anthropology, education, and several literature departments.

Note to Editors: Further information about the Center for Film, Television and New Media is available from Constance Penley, director of the center, by calling 805-685-4843 (home), by email:, as well as through the Public Affairs Office.

Share this article