Media Arts Center to host Grand Opening

Series of educational events to be held at new media arts building to celebrate opening after four years of construction


Conner Harden

Guest speakers Shelby Coffey (top left), David Kelley (bottom left) and Arianna Huffington (top right) will be interviewed by Kara Swisher (bottom right) on a panel in the Media Arts Center grand opening event.

After four years of construction, the Media Arts Center (MAC) opened for use at the beginning of this school year.

In celebration, the new MAC will have a series of events for its grand opening, from Oct. 16 through Oct. 18.

“It’s a major grand opening for the largest media arts building for a high school in the country,” Esther Wojcicki said, a journalism teacher at Palo Alto High School.

The first event is to be held on Thursday, Oct. 16. It will include a viewing of the building as well as a panel of guest speakers who will be interviewed in front of the audience. The speakers include Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, David Kelley, founder of IDEO and Shelby Coffey, the vice chairman of the Newseum.

These guest speakers will all be interviewed by Kara Swisher, an American technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and an author and commentator in the Internet.

Attendees of the event will then have the opportunity to ask questions to any of the speakers. The question and answer portion of the evening aims to make the event more interactive for guests.

This event is invitation only, and invitations were extended only to those who were directly involved with the building of the facilities, because of the limited space available.

“The people that were invited are people that are somehow responsible or directly impact the program,” Wojcicki said.

On Friday, Oct. 17, an open house will be held for for anyone in the community who is interested in coming to see the completed facility.

“[The event is] especially for parents, alumni and taxpayers,” Wojcicki said. “The idea is to give people an opportunity to see the building and to meet [Paly’s publications’] staff.”

Actor and Paly alumnus James Franco will be in attendance at the final event of the grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 18 and will be debuting his artwork at the event. The paintings feature student life at Paly.

These pieces will be hung all around the Paly campus including in the MAC and in the library on the day of the event.

“We are very grateful to James [Franco] for doing all of this wonderful art for us,” Wojcicki said.

 The event will be open to all students for a fee of $5 and adults will be charged $20.

There will be screenings of the Global Lives Project, a film project that aims to show the lives of individuals in different situations  around the world in five to fifteen minute videos. They will be shown in the MAC during all three days of the opening.

The link for the online ticket store can be found here.