After a couple of fun, but little-remembered, Friday nights spent hovering over the beer pong tables (and, on the flipside, some Saturday mornings hovering over the communal dorm toilet bowls), you might find yourself searching for some alternative means of entertainment. It’s not all luck: It takes a little knowledge and some careful strategizing to make the most of your free time, and Artsweek is here to help you beat the bank (and stay out of jail).

Film and Media

Fear not, finicky film aficionados. Our fair city, home of the weeklong Santa Barbara International Film Festival every January (which has attracted guests Judd Apatow, Julian Schnabel and Diablo Cody in past years), has plenty to offer to cine-fans of every genre. Check it out at

UCSB’s own Arts & Lectures cinema series brings a diverse palate of films and filmmakers to Campbell Hall and other local venues every month. Over the next few months, A&L will host films and a lecture by underwater auteur Jean-Michel Costeau (Sept. 22), and a 2008 documentary on filmmaker Roman Polanski (Nov. 12). Check out these events and more at

More films are screened by Magic Lantern Films at Isla Vista Theater, which also plays host to a series of films chosen by the students of the Film & Media Studies Dept.’s Magic Lantern class, which can range from popular blockbuster-type films to micro-budget, under-the-radar indie films. Often, Magic Lantern screenings are followed by Q&A sessions by the filmmakers. On Sept. 26, for example, UCSB alumnus and beloved animator Don Hertzfeldt will be on hand for the world premiere of his latest film, “I Am So Proud of You.” Associated Students Program Board has a series of films that screen for free every Tuesday at Isla Vista Theater as well. Check for details.

Students filmmakers can showcase their work in well-loved UCSB festivals like Reel Loud, which has been host to short, silent celluloid films for 17 years now, or the newly curated I.V. Digital Video Festival, which was founded by film & media studies students last year to embrace the technical and creative possibilities of the new media. Get more information at

The Music Scene

UCSB’s music enthusiasts have the luxury of choosing between the smaller venues in the area frequented by cult favorites and the D-I-Y crowd as well as bigger venues like the Santa Barbara Bowl which frequently draw the nation’s biggest tours. Whether you’re watching Kimya Dawson play an intimate show in the backyard of the Pink Mailbox, travel a bit further to the all-ages coffee house Muddy Waters on Haley Street or plunk down the big bucks to see Modest Mouse or Sublime perform at the Bowl, there’s always something to listen to.

Also of interest to Gaucho audiophiles: UCSB’s student-run radio station, KCSB 91.9 FM, , which features eclectic music and news programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all hosted by students and community members. No matter how late you’re up, and whether you have a thing for late-’70s British punk, classical baroque, ’70s prog rock or neo-folk, you can hear it all on KCSB, which makes a much-appreciated effort at playing things you can’t hear anywhere else on the radio. Check out more details at

A.S. Program Board ( sponsors its biggest event, Extravaganza, every spring, but the board keeps busy on a weekly basis planning shows that take place all over campus, from Storke Plaza to the Lagoon lawn to the UCen Hub. Some artists to look forward to include Three 6 Mafia, Stars and the Morning Benders.

The Area’s Art

You don’t have to leave campus to view quality works of art: Located right next to the UCen is UCSB’s own University Art Museum, which plays host to traveling exhibitions and work by UCSB students, both at a graduate and undergraduate level. Currently, the museum features “A Beautiful Nothing: The Architecture of Edward A. Killingsworth,” which will run through Oct. 12. Check out for more information.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art ( is just a bus ride away, located downtown on State Street. Currently, the museum is home to “Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation,” which will be there until Oct. 5.