Visual & Performing Arts

Visual & Performing Arts

Do you love to tell stories, perform, or create? Let your talent and passion shine. Here in the heart of artistic Oakland, you can make your mark. Connect with industry, develop your talent, and meet others who share your passions. Imagine, visualize, compose, and jam.

Departments Under This Area

Graphic Arts
Media Communications
Theatre Arts

Recommended First Term Classes:


MATH 13*     Statistics OR

MATH 13* plus Math 213 (Support for Statistics) OR

MATH 15*     Mathematics for Liberal Arts Students


ENGL 1A*     Reading and Composition OR

ENGL 1AS*   Reading and Composition with Support


ENGL 1A*    Reading and Composition OR
ENGL 1AS*  Reading and Composition with Support

Explorer Course

Choose One 

ART 1*

ART 20


DANCE 64/68 combo





* Course meets a CSU or IGETC general education requirement

Description of Explorer Courses

ART 1: Introduction to Art History
Do you ever wonder why one painting sells for millions of dollars at an auction and another for hundreds of dollars? Do you have an interest in working at an art museum or becoming an art historian? ART 1 takes you into the art world and helps you develop both an appreciative and critical eye. This course offers a foundation for understanding the styles and trends that pervade the art world and an introduction to art purposes, principles, and forms. You’ll gain knowledge of stylistic development and methods of analysis with an emphasis on cross cultural approaches to twentieth century art. You’ll never look at a work of art in quite the same way. The course is counts towards an AA/AS degree, fulfills CSU area C1, and IGETC area 3A

ART 20: Beginning Drawing & Composition
Do you like to draw, but have never been formally trained? Do you need to improve your drawing skills for your job? Maybe you’re a doodler with big artistic dreams. Whatever the reason, ART 20 teaches the basic principles to create strong compositions using a variety of materials and techniques. This hand-on course explores line, value, form, shape, spatial development, and composition. Drawings will be created from observation and exploration of still life, interiors, landscapes, and figures with an emphasis on developing a personal creative style. Get an introduction to freehand drawing techniques, fundamentals of composition, including an introduction to perspective. ART 20 is open to all students, earns you CSU and UC transferable units, and meets requirements for the AA-T degree in Studio Art.

DANCE 8A Choreography or combined level I DANCE 64/68 Modern/Jazz
Come move with us! If you enjoy wellness, art, travel, exercise, and expressing your ideas, consider trying out a dance class! 90% of our students are non-dance majors who take classes for fun, movement, cultural exposure, and to reduce stress. You’ll learn how to create dance, use your bodies to express ideas, and even perform on stage! All levels are welcome as we teach universal movements in every class so you will learn basic skills common to jazz, modern, hip hop, ballet, and ethnic dance- all in one class. No experience is required, and courses are open to all majors and dance levels. Visit us online at Units count towards local AA/AS degrees and provide transfer credit to CSU and UC; also fulfills major-specific requirements for the Associates of Arts in Dance. See you in the dance studio!

MEDIA 104: Basic Video Production
Want to learn how to make the next Oscar-winning movie? Most of us have shot videos with our phones. Are you ready to take your videos to the next level? MEDIA 104 shows you how to use professional cameras, microphones, lights and lots of other professional equipment to make movie magic. You’ll learn how to write the script, film the production and edit it all into that mojo movie. We’ll show you the whole deal, whether you fancy yourself as an actor, crew member, writer, director or producer. Join the class. Join the filmmaking team. This course is open to all and is required for the Certificates of Achievement and AS Degrees for Video Production, as well as Performance and Production.

MUSIC 130: Elementary Piano
Calling all music lovers! MUSIC 130 is a wonderful introduction to help you become a musician and enhance your performance skills! This course is open to all students and no experience is required. We start from the beginning to help you become comfortable with the piano/keyboard including reading music, learning basic music theory such as notes and rhythm, and finding comfortable finger placement and coordination using both hands. Our goal is to help you learn the fundamentals so you can begin playing songs and having fun right away; we’ll even prepare for a solo performance at the end of the semester! The class is designed to be interactive, FUN, and customized to your individual level and musical interests. Units count towards local AA/AS degrees and provide transfer credit to CSU and UC; also fulfills major-specific requirements for the Certificate of Achievement or Associates of Arts in Music.

PHOTO 71: Introduction to Digital Photography
Do you love taking photos and want to learn more? Photo 71 teaches the basic theory and hands-on skills of digital photography. This involves learning how to operate a manual camera, how to import and organize digital photos on the computer, and how to develop images with Adobe Lightroom software. You will also learn how to export finished files to labs for printing, for use in print publications, and to share with the general community online. Photo 71 is open to all, earns you transferable CSU credits, and counts toward an AA in Photography.

THART 2: Introduction to Theater Art
Do you enjoy watching live theater, movies and musicals? Have you always wondered what goes into creating a theater production? Then join us in Theater Arts 2 for a fun-filled adventure! We will explore different cultures, time periods, and styles of theater, and learn about significant artists who’ve made their mark in the performance world. We will also break-down the process of creating and putting on a play from the beginning stages of playwriting and casting, through the final process of acting, rehearsal, directing, design, and critique. We’ll also read various plays and watch videos of live theater performances to expose you to a variety of theater styles and observe how the art form of theater has evolved throughout time. Look forward to rich class discussions, shared readings, lots of videos, and attendance at live theater productions. THART 2 satisfies the Arts/Humanities general education requirement for local AA/AS degrees, CSU-GE Area C and IGETC area 3A, and is a required course for those pursuing an AA or AA-T in Theater Arts.