The Colorado State University and Fort Collins communities are invited to view the area’s newest performing arts venue and attend an open house for the university’s Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall at 1:30 p.m. April 20. As part of the ceremony, Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley will help lay the cornerstone of the new building. The open house runs until 3 p.m.
The Concert Hall, phase I of multi-phase project to build the University Center for the Arts complex, is located on the northwest side of the historic Fort Collins High School at 1400 Remington St., one block east of the main Colorado State campus. Construction on the $7.3 million, 27,000-square-foot building began in May 2003 and is being completed a month earlier than planned.
"The vision for the University Center for the Arts is to be a center of excellence for arts education, research and artistry and outreach at the university and in the community. The completion of the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall is a key element in reaching that goal," said Heather Hardy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State. "The new concert hall, equipped for educational and artistic excellence, will provide unprecedented educational opportunities as well as enhance cultural vitality at the university and throughout the entire community."
The 550-seat theater includes some of the most advanced acoustical design features in the region, including articulated walls, ceiling clouds and raked seating designed to provide the highest quality sound. The hall will be used primarily for performances by the university’s Department of Music, Theater and Dance and as an educational facility for students.
The facility was named in honor of Edna Rizley Griffin, a longtime advocate and benefactor of the performing arts including the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Center Concert Hall. The $2 million centerpiece gift to the University Center for the Arts was made by the Griffin Foundation. Other major donors making the construction of the Concert Hall possible include the Bohemian Foundation, Serimus Foundation, Monfort Family Foundation, Adolph Coors Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Gates Family Foundation and Bob and Joyce Everitt.
The first performances to take place in the Concert Hall are scheduled for the fall. The inaugural event in late September will feature a commissioned orchestral work being composed by Robert W. Smith. The piece will unify Colorado State performing arts groups including the bands, orchestra and choir. The inaugural event also will include performances from faculty and student performers of the dance and theatre programs.
The Julliard String Quartet will appear as the first guest artists at the Concert Hall on Oct. 8. Department bands, orchestra and choir ensembles also are scheduled to perform throughout the fall.
Design work for the next phase of the project is underway and construction is scheduled to resume later this summer. When complete, the University Center for the Arts will house:
– The Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall;
– Colorado State’s music, theater and dance programs;
– a 300-seat theatre, a blackbox theatre and an art
– exhibition space for the university’s permanent art
– a historic costume collection and gallery;
– dance studios;
– recital and rehearsal chambers;
– a natural history collection;
– the Center for Biomedical Research in Music;
– a music therapy clinic; and
– faculty offices and laboratories.
More information about the University Center for the Arts is available on the Web at www.colostate.edu/programs/uca/.