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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Colleges Invest in the Arts: Emory & Henry Sees New Arts Center as Strong Growth

Fundraising is underway for the arts center proposed at Emory & Henry College.
Fundraising is underway for the arts center proposed at Emory & Henry College.
Additional photos below »

Visual and Performing Arts Program has Provided a Reliable Pipeline to Prospective Students

By Angela Wampler | October 29, 2007

Emory & Henry College ? Emory, Va.

The E&H Center for the Arts, expected to cost approximately $12 million, will include a large performance hall, a black box theater, rehearsal rooms, exhibit space, a classroom for three-dimensional art, office space and theatre storage areas.

The facility will measure a total of 40,000 square feet, including a 450-seat main theatre and a 150-seat black box theatre. The main theatre will have a proscenium stage, a large fly system for scene changes, dressing rooms, and production areas, as well as gallery and exhibition space.

The facility is considered the next step in the strong growth of E&H visual and performing arts programs that have attracted increasing numbers of talented students, requiring larger and more up-to-date facilities than is currently available on the campus.

In recent years, the visual and performing arts program has provided one of the college's most reliable pipelines to prospective students and has enormous value to large numbers of alumni, including the hundreds of former students who have participated in the college's renowned choral program.

Last spring E&H's performing arts program boasted 55 drama majors — more than any other comparable institution in the region or in the entire state of Virginia. College spokesperson Dirk Moore says, "(That number) is driven in part by our collaboration with Barter Theatre, but also an emphasis on excellence. Students in this department have won several recognitions at regional theatre competitions, and the department has produced many quality shows."

Moore says the college plans to offer the arts center for community use, "but its chief function would be for performances created or sponsored by the college. We do want it to be a center for the community beyond the campus, a place they identify with and can take pride in."



Black box theaters are considered by many to be a place where more "pure" theater can be explored, with the most human and least technical elements being in focus. True to their name, the interiors are painted black. The absence of color not only gives the audience a sense of "anyplace" (and thus allows flexibility from play to play or from scene to scene), it also allows individual lighting cues to be that much stronger.

For more about the other schools who invest in the arts click HERE.

A bird's-eye perspective of E&H Center for the Arts.

Plan of the first floor.

View of the second floor plan.