Friends of the Center

The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies is a research facility of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, bringing together national and international scholars for research and performance in a relaxing, amiable environment. The Center relies on the generosity and support of Friends of the Center to pursue both its academic mission and ongoing programs for the wider community.

Friends of the Center is a wide network of community members, donors, alumni and professionals whose generous gifts make it possible to run the Center. Benefits of membership include the semiannual newsletter, invitations to special events, and priority seating at performances.

The Great Hall Campaign

During the ten years since its founding on October 31, 1998, the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies has steadily increased its role in the life of the university community and on the local, national, and international scenes. Each year, more than 1,000 visitors participate in Center events and utilize its resources.

With the construction of the world’s only replica Great Hall to recreate the experience of 16th and 17th century performance, the Center will continue its cutting edge exploration of renaissance life, society, and culture. Additional library space will augment one of the Northeast's largest collections of manuscripts and books printed before 1700, not housed at the Center.

Existing architectural plans for an historically accurate Great Hall provide a flexible performance space of approximately 1270 square feet, which will reflect the findings of current research into 16th and 17th century English musical and theatrical playing spaces.