An anonymous donor has offered a $500,000 challenge grant to Valley College to establish a Media Arts Academy, school officials announced Tuesday.
The donor, who insists on confidentiality as a requirement of the grant, will offer the half-million dollar gift only if the college can match the amount by the end of this year.
"For us this is a very, very big deal," said Marv Zuckerman, dean of academic affairs. "It's not something that we have happen to us every day."
The grant and matching funds would be used to create an academy to train a new generation of employees skilled in both the old and new arts required by the entertainment industry.
Since the college is situated in the heart of a burgeoning entertainment industry, the establishment of a media center is a natural development, Zuckerman said.
"We're believing that we have to educate our students in a much larger scoop," said Alan Sacks, a Valley College broadcasting instructor. "We want to fill what's being called an industry need, so when the students leave here they can go next door to Universal and know what they're doing."
The proposed grant and matching funds would provide digital video cameras, video recorders, editing equipment and graphics and animation computer systems, and would help finance construction of an academy building.
Students completing the required credits through the new program would receive a certificate in media arts.
Those interested in helping to match the grant should call Sacks at (818) 947-2799.