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Fine Arts Center

The Fine Arts Center is a regional cultural center which serves the campus community and western Massachusetts with internationally recognized performing and visual arts events, and educational programs. The Center Series annually features national and international artists in classical music, dance, theater, jazz, and popular events. University, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith college students may purchase tickets to Center Series events for reduced prices. The Fine Arts Center is one of the university’s premier cultural and educational programs.

Serving as a forum for diversity in the arts, the Center has a long history of designing and implementing programs which present a world view of the arts. New WORLD Theater has a national reputation as a presenter and producer of works by playwrights of color. Performing arts at the Center also include Asian Arts and Culture Program, Magic Triangle Jazz series, and Solos & Duos Series, and the Performances Plus and Circle series which bring over 10,000 school-age children annually to campus.

The University Gallery is nationally recognized for its contemporary art installations. Exhibitions specialize in sculptural installations and works of art on paper. The Gallery frequently tours its shows nationally and produces professional catalogues which are exchanged with peer institutions. It houses a permanent collection of 2,500 works of art on paper. Hampden and Central galleries exhibit emerging and established artists from New England and New York. Augusta Savage Gallery is a multicultural, multi-arts facility, promoting the work of artists of color and encouraging artistic expression of issues of culture and identity.

Fine Arts Center educational programs provide opportunities for student enrichment in the arts. Performances and exhibitions are integrated wherever possible with workshops, master classes and residencies at the University and on the campuses of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and Smith colleges. Jazz in July offers summer workshops in improvisation with contemporary jazz artists. The interdisciplinary general education course, The Lively Arts, integrates classroom experience with performances and exhibitions for 500 students annually. The galleries also provide internship and arts training experience for students and serve as venues for Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts exhibitions for undergraduate and graduate students in the Art Department.

The University Arts Council awards grants to subsidize innovative and culturally diverse programs presented by student groups, academic departments, and arts organizations. The Council is funded primarily through the student Arts Fee and administered by an appointed representative body that includes six undergraduate students, three graduate students, one alumnus, six faculty members, and two staff members. The Council maintains many of the public art sites on campus in collaboration with Physical Plant and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.

The Fine Arts Center complex houses the 2,000-seat Concert Hall, the University Gallery, the Frank Prentice Rand Theater, Bezanson Recital Hall and the academic departments of Art, Music and Dance, and Theater. Bowker Auditorium in Stockbridge Hall is administered by the Fine Arts Center.

The Department of Music and Dance, Theater Department, University Productions and Concerts, and various Registered Student Organizations present each year their own diverse programs of concerts and performances.