Arts Bridge Transformation
Architects from the Boston firm designLAB are currently at work transforming the fourth floor bridge of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center into a makerspace for the Departments of Art, Music and Dance, and Theater.
Scheduled to open in the Fall 2021 semester, this multi-disciplinary space will include a design studio, a theater rehearsal studio (with as much space as the Rand theater stage), a costume shop, a music education classroom, music seminar room, and a recording studio, along with newly designed spaces for animation and art classes, and a computer lab. The project will maintain and enhance the integrity of the original building design.
This project, funded by the UMass Building Authority, will create a welcoming and transformative space that will enhance the visibility of the arts and encourage interaction among students and faculty in the creative disciplines.
Spaces & Classrooms
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Laura Bailey Costume Shop
Theater majors at UMass Amherst are students of design and dramaturgical interpretation as much as they are of performance. The Department of Theater's approach “also included the hands on running of shows and what goes on behind the scenes both during and in the weeks leading up to production,” recalls Laura Bailey ’03. This multi-faceted program deepened her academic understanding and laid the groundwork for her career in film. Read More »
Julie C. Hayes and Claude Bersano Recording Studio
In recognition of former Dean Julie Hayes for her leadership of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Bill '86 and Madeleine '89 Noland established the Julie C. Hayes and Claude Bersano Recording Studio Fund to provide support for the audio recording studio within the Fine Arts Center Bridge. The fund will support the purchase and maintenance of recording equipment and other purposes directly related to the recording studio. The Nolands cite Dean Hayes's outreach and enthusiasm for HFA and all its facets that resonated with students, faculty, and alumni as the inspiration for the fund. In recognition of this gift, the audio recording studio in the Fine Arts Center Bridge will be named the Julie C. Hayes and Claude Bersano Recording Studio in honor of Dean Hayes and her late husband, Claude Bersano, who was a sound engineer and had a passion for classical organ music.
A Brief History
The Bromery Fine Arts Center is perhaps the most important work of modern architecture on the UMass Amherst campus. It was conceived as a gateway to the campus at the south end of the pond, but its arcade also acts as a link between student housing on the east side of campus and the academic buildings on the west. Designed in 1968 by Kevin Roche of Roche, Dinkloo and Associates (responsible for some of the most inventive buildings of the ‘60s and ‘70s) the building was an innovation on American campuses.
It remains one of the most visible structures at UMass Amherst. On its lower floors, the building contains a concert hall, the Rand theater, the Bezanson recital hall, and a small black-box theater, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2020 the building was named for the late Randolph W. “Bill” Bromery, in honor of the former chancellor who was instrumental in creating today’s vibrant and diverse university and who recruited jazz legends such as Max Roach, Archie Shepp, and Fred Tillis, also the first director of the Fine Arts Center. Bromery was the first African American to lead the campus.