Thursday, July 10, 2008

Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center...coming soon!

A new Cultural Arts Center (located at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and East-West Highway) will support the newly created Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District. This center will establish the College as a center for the performing arts in the down-county area and fill a longstanding void in the community. It will provide an excellent venue for county and metro area arts patrons to attend unique professional public performances and also a venue for events sponsored by community organizations. The Cultural Arts Center will contain two performance spaces. The 500-seat music and dance theatre with a state of the art stage and acoustics will be used primarily as a rental space/booking house by organizations from outside the College. The 100-seat theatre will be used by the Communications and Performing Arts Department for performances and as a classroom space for speech, theatre, film, and dance classes. In addition, regional theatre groups and community organizations will use the theatre.

To celebrate and acknowledge the vibrant and diverse student population and the surrounding communities, the Center will offer concerts and events for all ages. Music and dance from various cross-cultural backgrounds will be a major element in the offerings. Weekend performances will be scheduled throughout the year and bring in regional and national groups. The College will pursue partnerships with area performing groups to offer enriching educational activities and maximize the use of the center by the community.

The campus community looks forward to a time when students, faculty, and staff can come together for large special events important to campus life. However, even more significant are the education and enrichment opportunities for students. For many students, it will be an opportunity to see live professional performances for the first time. For faculty in a wide variety of disciplines, it will be an opportunity to supplement and enrich their teaching through the inclusion of concerts, theatre, or dance performances that students can conveniently attend.

Inclusion of the arts in any major urban district can tremendously impact its economic climate. The diversity of Montgomery College’s student population alone will serve to enhance and stimulate the city’s revitalization effort as it promotes unification of diverse cultures and provides entrepreneurial and family-based business opportunities for immigrant, disadvantaged, and other emerging business owners. In addition, a vibrant arts district generates employment, tourism, non-profit revenue, commercial revenue, tourist spending, and capital spending. Montgomery College is pleased to be a major anchor of the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District and we will continue to provide cultural and educational opportunities for this community and region.

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