Press Releases

CalArts Appoints Lareese Hall Dean of Library

CalArts Appoints Lareese Hall Dean of Library

Valencia, Calif. (March 26, 2024) – California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced the appointment of Lareese Hall as its new dean of Library. Hall will begin her work as a member of the Institute’s academic leadership team in June 2024.

Hall brings more than 14 years of experience in academic libraries to CalArts. Until 2022, she served as director of the Libraries at Colby College where she oversaw the strategic direction, budget, vision, staff, and collections. She left libraries to spend time investigating higher education from a different perspective as an executive recruiter focused in the education sector, primarily in the arts and in libraries. Previously, Hall was the dean of Libraries at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where, in addition to leading the Fleet Library, she oversaw key campus resource teams in the Nature Lab, Campus Exhibitions, and the Center for Arts and Language. Hall also worked as an art and architecture librarian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and a fine arts librarian at Denison University.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lareese as a colleague and member of CalArts’ academic leadership team,” said Provost Tracie Costantino. “Her mix of professional expertise and personal interests align well with CalArts’ mission and values. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a vision for the expansive possibilities for the role of the library in the lives of students, faculty, and artists.”

“I am thrilled to be returning to libraries and engaging in this work within an arts ecosystem that is intentionally interdisciplinary and experimental,” said Hall. “I am intrigued by what a library in the broadest sense can be in the CalArts context and how we can expand the definition and function of a library through experimentation and collaboration. I am looking forward to both celebrating and stewarding the development of the library—its people, research, collections, and services—with a team of colleagues who are curious, creative, collaborative, and fearless about what is possible and yet to be imagined.” 

Prior to her career as a librarian, Hall worked for more than a decade in the nonprofit sector addressing issues related to informal education, adult literacy, community development, science education, landscape and urban design, and public art. She is a visual artist and fiction writer with a BA from Oberlin College, an MFA in Writing from Goddard College, and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Pittsburgh. She also studied architecture at the University of Virginia. Her current research focuses on creative practice in libraries, library space design, bookmaking, and small press archives and publishing.

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California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.