ASU at Mesa City Center officially opened its doors with a grand opening celebration of its two new buildings, The Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center and The Studios, on Friday and Saturday.
The project is a joint initiative between the city of Mesa and the University. The new facility will be home to the new Sidney Poitier New American Film School, several programs within the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
In addition to the two buildings, the facility will also have an outdoor plaza space, according to a press release.
The city contributed $63.5 million toward the project while the University contributed $33.5 million. ASU will be responsible for operation and maintenance costs for the MIX Center while the University and the city of Mesa will share responsibility for the costs of The Studios.
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To celebrate, presentations were given by President Michael Crow, City of Mesa Mayor John Giles, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, founding director of The Sidney Poitier New American Film School, ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson and more.
Performances, demonstrations, food and a screening of Disney's "Coco" on an outdoor 100-foot movie screen were also open to the public in the plaza space on Saturday.
"Arizona State University is committed to collaborations that support student success while also meeting the needs of the broader communities we serve," Crow said. "We are proud to see ASU at Mesa City Center come to life as a vanguard facility for learning and creativity, and we appreciate the city of Mesa's vision and confidence in advancing opportunities for generations to come."
The MIX Center opened to students and faculty this fall and is home to the new Pointier Film School. It hosts students who will be creating films, immersive media experiences and designing virtual worlds.
"The MIX Center and the larger ASU at Mesa City Center complex are just at the beginning of their long-term benefits to our students and the Downtown Mesa community," said Jake Pinholster, founding director of The MIX Center and associate dean for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
The Poitier Film School was approved to be established by ABOR in 2020 and was officially named after Sidney Poitier in January 2021.
"It's an exciting time at The Poitier School, and our new home in Mesa is a huge part of that excitement," Boone Issacs said. "At the MIX, whether that story is in film, AR/VR/XR, short-form video, or any other type of experiential media, our students will find the state-of-the-art tools they need. And their stories will enrich the cultural life of the university, the state, the region and beyond."
The Studios at Mesa City Center hosts programming and support services for local entrepreneurs in the surrounding communities as well as ASU students.
Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, David Rodish and Kristen Apolline Castillo.
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Andrea Ramirez is a part-time reporter at The State Press. She has previously worked for The State Press for Spring ‘23.