Public Relations records

Identity elements

Reference code

8-RG 8.07

Level of description



Public Relations records


  • 1931-2009 (Creation)


19 linear feet (38 boxes)

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Public Relations Department was founded in about 1959 with John W. Thompson in the position of director. After about 10 years, Patricia Rees Cummings joined the Art Center Staff as Director of Public Relations on November 15, 1971. At the time of her appointment her main responsibility was for the implementation of a selective public relations program. The program promoted unique aspects of the college and campus development plans to both local and national media. In the fall of 1980 Ms. Cummings was appointed Vice President of Public Relations and Associate Director of Development. In the spring of 1984 she was appointed Administrative Director of Art Center Europe with the responsibility of organizing the public relations program and the development and recruitment effort for Art Center's European campus.

In 2003, Art Center established a Marketing and Communications Department, and the Office of Public Relations was moved into that division. In addition, the functions of public relations were split into internal and external responsibilities with separate directors.

Public Relations Directors are:

John W. Thompson 1959-1971?
Patricia Cummings 1971-1981?
Douglas Brendan Jones 1980?-1983
Anna Ganahl 1983?-1989?
Diane L. Reed 1989-1991
Ann Salisbury 1991?-1994
Jean Keefe Parry 1995
Rae Jones Kitchen 1995?
Jan Kingaard 1996-2004
Christine Hanson 2005 - present (Director of External Communications and Media Relations)
Jered Gold 2003 - present (Director of Internal and Community Relations)

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Scope and content

The Public Relations files were created by the former Directors, mainly Jan Kingaard, and staff of Public Relations. Although the dates of the collection span 1944 to 2008, the majority of the records are from the mid-1990s to 2002. The bulk of the collection is the administrative files in Series 1 which document the varied responsibilities of the department, from internal meetings to media outreach.

The files in Series 2 (Academic Departments) and Series 5 (People) contain information collected on Art Center faculty and departments to be used in publicizing Art Center accomplishments. Series 3 (Art Center Campuses) contains publicity about the physical plant, including the move to Pasadena and the acquisition of South Campus.

The Events files in Series 4 document on and off-campus events that the department publicized, especially Super Thursdays. Related to those files are the Sponsored Projects files in Series 7, which contain information on the corporations, projects and students involved for publicity purposes.

The media outreach efforts of the Public Relations Department can be seen in Series 6 (Press Kits and Releases) and Series 8 (Clippings), the latter containing hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles related to Art Center, its students, and their work. The Media Summaries in Series 9 are packets of clippings compiled by Public Relations to be distributed to other administrative departments on campus. These packets are arranged chronologically, following departmental practice.

Series 10 contains the internal communication component of Public Relations. Notable in this series are the Third Thursday Newsbriefs that are distributed to the Art Center community every month and spotlight Art Center news and events.

Printed materials, such as letterhead, business cards, and brochures, some dating back to the 1950s, make up Series 11. Series 12 consists of computer files, almost all of which are on compact disc.

Although part of the Clippings series, several oversized copies of news articles are filed separately, including a reprint of a 1954 Saturday Evening Post article profiling Art Center. Also filed separately are three scrapbooks of clippings that duplicate and supplement the photocopied and filed clippings that were collected by the department from 1971-1985. The oversized items are housed in Boxes 31, 32, and 33.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Administrative Files
Series 2: Academic Departments
Series 3: Art Center Campuses
Series 4: Events
Series 5: People
Series 6: Press Kits and Releases
Series 7: Sponsored Projects
Series 8: Clippings
Series 9: Media Summaries
Series 10: Internal Communications
Series 11: Printed Material
Series 12: Computer Files

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Conditions governing access

The Whiteson history book draft is restricted until 2024.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright held by Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.)

Digital materials and catalog records are made available for educational and research purposes only and cannot be reproduced, distributed, or published without written permission from Art Center College of Design.

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