The opening of the new Bohemian Complex at the University Center for the Arts was celebrated the evening of Nov. 3 with a ceremony recognizing the Bohemian Foundation and a special performance of Samuel Beckett’s play, "Waiting for Godot," in the new University Theatre.
Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley and Pat Stryker, the president of the Bohemian Foundation, officially opened the new complex by unveiling the Bohemian Complex marquee. In Penley’s comments, he noted that on this same date in 2000 former Colorado State President Albert C. Yates officially launched the building campaign for the University Center for the Arts.
The Bohemian Complex includes the entire second phase of the University Center for the Arts. During the ceremony, Penley recognized the opening of this phase of the University Center for the Arts as significant for Colorado State University, the College of Liberal Arts and the Fort Collins community.
In addition to the 300-seat University Theatre for main stage productions, the Bohemian Complex also encompasses the Studio Theatre, formerly the Black Box Theatre in Johnson Hall; William E. Runyan Music Hall, which will house both choral and music rehearsals; and ancillary theater spaces, including a paint and scene shop and dressing and green rooms.
According to Ann Gill, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, "The School of the Arts faculty, particularly those in Music, Theatre, and Dance, for years taught and performed in venues that can charitably be described as ‘substandard.’ The Bohemian Complex and the rest of the University Center for the Arts have created amazing new life and energy in our programs, which in turn will transform the artistry of our faculty and students."
In May 2003, the Bohemian Foundation presented Colorado State University with a gift of $20.1 million, the largest cash gift to the university at the time. The gift included a $4.92 million commitment to the University Center for the Arts.
The Bohemian Foundation is a private family foundation that focuses on being 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.
During the ceremony, Don Fry, vice president of University Development and Advancement, also thanked other lead contributors to the University Center for the Arts including David and Carol Wood of the Griffin Foundation, Myra Monfort of the Myra and Kenneth Monfort Foundation, Doug and Jill Schatz of the Serimus Foundation, Bob and Joyce Everitt and George and Louise Thornton. To date, more than $12.42 million has been raised for the University Center for the Arts from foundations and private individuals.
In her closing remarks, Gill recognized Yates and Robert Hoffert, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts, for their fundamental role in the formation of the University Center for the Arts.
The final and largest phase of Colorado State’s University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St., is underway. In response to uncertainty about funding for the $22 million construction phase, students this spring voted to support that phase through a facilities fee. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2008.