Record Gift Moves Colorado State University’s Center for the Arts Forward

A record gift from the Bohemian Foundation will enable Colorado State University to move forward on construction of its University Center for the Arts, the centerpiece for the school’s performing and creative arts programs.

The $4.92 million gift, part of a $20.1 million gift from the Bohemian Foundation, will provide for the creation of performance venues, a common lobby area and rehearsal space at the new center. The funding will allow the university to open critical facilities for university and community use within the next few years. Eight thousand students from disciplines across the university participate in the music, theatre and dance programs.

"Pat Stryker’s ongoing dedication to the arts has strengthened an already exceptional program," said Colorado State University President Albert C. Yates. "The University Center for the Arts will provide a state-of-the-art cultural facility for the community and the university, but most important, it will enhance our educational programs and provide an extraordinary environment for student learning."

The projects funded by the gift will include the renovation of the 1952 addition to the historic Fort Collins High School to create performance venues and to construct a common lobby and circulation area adjoining the concert hall. The gift will provide for the following at the University Center for the Arts:

  • Thrust Theatre
  • Experimental Theatre
  • Music Rehearsal Hall
  • Theatre shops and support areas

The University Center for the Arts is on the historic Fort Collins High School site at 1400 Remington St., one block east of the main campus. The building is a local landmark built in 1924 and well-known for its classic architecture.

Colorado State purchased the former high-school building in September 1997 for $4.1 million through funds appropriated by the Colorado General Assembly. The site includes about 14 acres of land and two main structures.

The university already has planted flower gardens and completed an underpass connecting the main campus to the future University Center for the Arts – features that are part of the overall master plan for the development of the University Center for the Arts. Construction of a $7 million, 22,000-square-foot concert hall is scheduled for completion in May 2004.

While the old Fort Collins High School served the community for about 70 years from 1924 to 1995, Colorado State has many buildings that have served the institution for more than 100 years and plans to make the University Center for the Arts an important and permanent part of the campus. Other phases of the University Center for the Arts project will proceed as funding becomes available.

The University Center for the Arts will be used primarily for education, including rehearsals, recitals and performances by the university’s music, theater and dance departments, as well as for students from all disciplines across campus. Other community groups and organizations also will have the opportunity to use the facility.

The Bohemian Foundation

The Bohemian Foundation is a private family foundation focused on improving the quality of life in Fort Collins through efforts to strengthen the future of the community’s youth, building the capacity of organizations working together in the care and improvement of the community, and strengthening the community by building on a tradition of citizen involvement. The foundation strives to create an environment where youth see themselves as a success and have the opportunities to function as productive, contributing citizens.

Bohemian Foundation Facts

  • Named after the Bohemian movement in Paris in the early 1900s, the Bohemian Foundation plans to emulate the creativity, imagination and spirit for which the Bohemians were known.
  • President: Pat Stryker.
  • Focus: Functioning as a catalyst for public awareness, involving people and organizations in working together to make the community a better place to live, and encouraging and enabling area youth to access the resources that will help them grow and thrive as productive members of the community.

The Foundation’s symbol is a lighthouse: A guidepost to safe passage, a lighthouse stands firm and strong.

  • Goals:
    • To be a catalyst for public awareness of issues facing our community;
    • To involve people in working together to make our community a better place to live;
    • To encourage and enable our youth to access the resources that will help them grow and thrive as productive members of our community.
  • To achieve these goals, the Foundation is strategic with its program areas, researching needs and possible approaches to solutions.
  • The Foundation also actively focuses on specific programs, either partnering with existing organizations or initiating its own projects.
  • The Pharos Fund within the Bohemian Foundation provides grants up to $25,000 for a wide range of not-for-profit organizations in Fort Collins.
    • The focus areas for the Pharos Fund are: public awareness of issues, getting people and groups to work together, and youth.
    • One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, "Pharos" is derived from the great lighthouse in Alexandria.
  • Stryker and the Bohemian Foundation are dedicated to continuing its history of caring and giving back to the community. It is their goal to focus on preventative approaches to community problems rather than reactive ones.