Spring Break Immersions in Los Angeles Offer Career Inspiration, Industry Connections


A group of people smiling outside a building
The Gilbert Week itinerary included a stop at Walt Disney Concert Hall on March 11.

Two groups of College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) students will travel to Los Angeles for Spring Break (March 10-17) to immerse themselves in the city’s rich cultural scene and meet with industry professionals, many of whom are Syracuse University alumni.

Ten students in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music will learn about the wide variety of career opportunities in music via Gilbert Week. Founded by Dennis Gilbert ’73 and Nancy Shapiro Gilbert ’74, Gilbert Week is held in a different city each year; past locations include New York City and Austin, Texas. In addition to meeting with numerous alumni in Los Angeles, Gilbert Week students will visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Grammy Museum, Virgin Music Group, EastWest Studios, Clear Lake Recording Studios, Live Nation and the Pantages Theatre, where they will see “Chicago.”

Fourteen Department of Drama students will participate in the annual Sorkin in LA Learning Practicum, also known as “Sorkin Week.” The practicum provides students with a “hit-the-studios-running” immersion, which includes meeting and learning from alumni—including program founder and award-winning screenwriter and director Aaron Sorkin ’83 H’12. In addition to seeing “Chicago” with the Gilbert Week students, Sorkin Week students will visit the Geffen Playhouse for “Black Cypress Bayou” and The Groundlings Theatre for “Cookin’ with Gas.” Their itinerary also includes a tour of Warner Bros. studios and the daytime television drama “The Young and Restless” as well as meetings with numerous alumni, including those in acting, casting, production design, screenwriting and producing.

A building exterior in Los Angeles
Syracuse University’s new North Hollywood location

Syracuse University’s new North Hollywood location will serve as the students’ home base in Los Angeles. Recently opened for the newly named Syracuse University Dick Clark in Los Angeles Program, the building includes space suitable for Gilbert Week and Sorkin Week students to meet and network with alumni.

“Immersion experiences enhance our students’ visions of potential career paths and provide them with lifelong connections,” says Jackie Flores, VPA’s assistant director of career development, who will accompany the Gilbert Week students. “Because Los Angeles is home to so many Syracuse University alumni in the entertainment industry who are willing to spend time with our students, the experience will be incredibly beneficial and unforgettable.”