Today@Sam Article

Gaertner Performing Arts Center Ranked In 'Top 25'

Jan. 23, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

Sam Houston State University’s James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center has been named to the 2015 ranking of the 25 Most Amazing Campus Arts Centers in the United States by College Degree Search, an education resource for prospective college students.

The center, which opened in 2010, serves as a showcase for artistic talent and creative works, as well as a world-class academic facility for students in the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.

The facility encompasses more than 100,000 square feet and contains a concert hall that seats 800; a state-of-the-art dance theater that seats 160; and a separate recital hall that seats 175.

The dance theater stage has six inches of cushioned flooring so dancers can leap, drop and spin with reduced impact and sound. The concert hall is covered with wood paneling, and the acoustics can be customized to maximize the experience of each performance for the patrons.

In addition to the concert halls, the Gaertner Performing Arts Center houses the dean’s suite and office of the dance department, as well as numerous faculty and staff offices. Students can practice, create and gather in four dance studios, three large rehearsal halls, dressing rooms, a green room, a VIP lounge, a student kitchen, a café, and a large lobby for pre- and post-show discussions.

This central lobby showcases original public art by internationally known artists and sculptors. Seven installations were commissioned for the building, including a hanging sculpture by artist James Surls—an internationally known artist who is also an alumnus of Sam Houston State.

In addition to performances, the building is also the location for the President’s Speaker Series presentations, the New Student Convocation, film screenings, workshops, and faculty-staff combined meetings.

The only other Texas university arts center to be recognized was the Murchison Center at the University of North Texas. Some of the other university arts centers included those at: Notre Dame, Bryn Mawr, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Emory, and New York, among others.

The announcement by College Degree Search can be found at this link.

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