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Emerson College Los Angeles: A New Hollywood Landmark

By Genie Davis

September 29, 2017

Emerson College has a mission to develop and prepare students for a successful path in communication and the arts. Long based in Boston, Mass., the school – renowned for its entertainment industry credentials – has run a semester-long, professional internship program in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. Now, Emerson has established a gorgeous physical presence in Hollywood.

Emerson College Los Angeles, on Sunset Boulevard in the Sunset and Vine District of Hollywood, CA. (Courtesy photo)

According to Allison Sampson, Vice President and Executive Director of Emerson College Los Angeles, the school decided to open a brick and mortar campus here to further expand its programs.

“Building a permanent home on the west coast was part of a strategic planning initiative which has allowed Emerson to flourish. Emerson L.A. opened in 2014 and now has 40 classes, 25 faculty members, and around 200 students per semester,” Sampson attests.

Of course, the internship program itself, which is such a core of Emerson’s program in Los Angeles, continues to thrive.

“Each semester, Emerson Los Angles students intern at more than 150 sites in a variety of professional fields, including film and TV, music, comedy, journalism, marketing, theatre, and related enterprises,” Sampson explains.

Students intern at prestigious SoCal companies such as ABC Disney Television, BuzzFeed, Comedy Central, Dreamworks Animation, HBO, Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Variety, among other locations.

The college has over 400 internship partnerships, and beyond that, is deeply committed to the on-going revitalization of Hollywood itself. The college has partnered with neighborhood organizations such as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and Hollywood Police Activities League.

Sampson is justifiably proud of Emerson College Los Angeles and the successful career connections it offers for students. Having an actual physical location in Hollywood benefits both the students and the community at large.

Emerson college not only hosts its own events, but is also available to host community events. (Courtesy photo)

“With an iconic building located at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon, we’re at the center of the Hollywood community. Los Angles is the premiere destination for students wanting to learn not only about communication and the arts, but also to be submersed in the culture of the region and surrounded by the nation’s top industry professionals,” she enthuses. “Building a permanent facility in Hollywood represents a significant commitment to the city and to the entertainment and communication industries.”

In fact, the college also offers an abundance of resources for both its students and the Hollywood community itself.

“Emerson L.A. serves its entertainment industry partners by hosting events open to the public throughout the year, and providing the community with driven, creative, and talented interns and graduates. In addition, students and alumni are active members of the community and give back through community service.”

The physical architecture of the building is beautiful and unique, making the building itself a kind of gift to the Hollywood area.

“Renowned architect Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis, designed the Emerson LA building,” Sampson relates.

The dramatically designed $110 million complex combines student housing, instructional facilities, and administrative offices all in one location. LEED certified, it offers 100,000 square feet of space. It contains an auditorium, screening room, audio and video labs, and performance and rehearsal studios, too.

The unique building housing Emerson College Los Angeles was designed by Thom Mayne at Morphosis. (Courtesy photo)

By doing so, she says the college condenses the diversity of a college campus into a single urban site. She believes that by concentrating the energy of east coast metropolitan centers in a uniquely Los Angeles one, a dialogue emerges between their students’ educational background and their professional futures. And with the campus opening here, both alumni living in the region and visitors from across the country have “a place to call home.”

What Sampson most wants the community to know about the college is that the school is “proud to be a resource for and member of the Hollywood community.”

The college has an alumni base of more than 4,000 in the Los Angeles area, and Sampson says Emerson College continues to grow as a creative force in the entertainment industry.

“We are honored to be a part of the creative economy and to have Emersonians thrive in a variety of fields throughout Southern California.”

Emerson College Los Angeles
5960 Sunset Blvd.
(323) 498-0600


Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own www.diversionsLA.com.

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