Virginia Tech’s new Center for the Arts building is certainly an eye-catcher. The giant spectacle of stone and glass noticeably stands out amidst the brick buildings of the Upper Quad.
Ruth Waalkes, Associate Provost and the Executive Director of the Center for the Arts, is more excited for people to see what is behind the shiny exterior, but if pre-sale ticket purchases are any indicator, it’s safe to say that her excitement is justified.
“Ticket sales are going very well, and by the end of July we had sold more than one-third the total capacity for all programs next year just on subscriptions,” said Waalkes. “Single tickets went on sale last week, and we already have a few individual performances that are more than 50% sold.”
This impressive amount of ticket sales is way more than Waalkes and her department anticipated, and is a testament to the 2013-2014 season schedule, which features the Philip Glass Ensemble as the Center’s inaugural performer.
“Our programs are chosen to present a diverse range of arts experiences, hopefully bringing new and different types of performances, artists, ideas and perspectives into the mix for students and audiences of all ages,” noted Waalkes.
“The new facilities and the programs we can present there give us an opportunity to expand students’ horizons, and contribute to their broader learning options while here on campus.”
Other than Philip Glass the Center has lined up a diverse schedule to explore the various interests that students may have.
Some examples include an Indian tambla percussion master Zakir Hussein or Sudanese child-soldier-turned-human-rights-advocate and hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal.
One of the main goals for the Center this year is to connect with the student population, offering discounted tickets at $10 for all performances and a text alert system to notify students of free tickets the day of a performance if they become available.
According to Waalkes, the Center will also offer student employment opportunities.
“We will have a lot of students employed in the center, from backstage to front of house and in the galleries. That opens up incredible new opportunities to experience the arts first hand.”
The Center for the Arts will officially open on October 28, when the art exhibitions are made available for the public to peruse. The first performance will open the Fife Theatre November 1.