Close [x]

SVPA Center Groundbreaking and Celebration of the Arts to be held Oct. 17

With the focus on celebrating the arts at Western, a groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited School of Visual and Performing Arts Center will be held Monday, October 17, on the Westside Campus.

Founded in 2006 to build on Western’s solid foundation of quality education in the arts, the school currently offers instructional and performance facilities that remain separated in quarters at several locations on the university’s Midtown campus. As the school’s retired Founding Dean Dr. Carol Hawkes has observed, the construction of the SVPA Center will fulfill the dream of bringing Western’s art, music and theatre programs together under one roof in a building that will provide extensive instructional , practice and rehearsal facilities, an art gallery, and performance venues for concerts and theatrical productions. The state of Connecticut in March approved bonding to fund the center’s construction.

“We already had an excellent arts program,” Hawkes remarked, “but I’m certain this school is going to make us a major regional force in the arts.”

The overall project estimate of approximately $97 million includes $68 million for construction of the building, with additional expenditures budgeted for landscaping, parking and furnishings. Professor of Music Dr. Dan Goble, who succeeded Hawkes in June as dean of the SVPA, affirmed that the state is making a priceless investment in the arts whose benefits will spread from Western to the surrounding region.

The new facility will be a game-changer for the state and region and add a new dimension to our already strong programs in art, music and theatre,” Goble said. “Students in Connecticut will have a state-of-the-art facility to go along with WCSU's world-class faculty.”        

The public celebration in October will include an exhibition of WCSU student, alumni and faculty art titled “Looking Forward,” a WCSU theatre arts production of scenes from Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano,” a WCSU Opera Ensemble presentation of selections from Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera “The Old Maid and the Thief,” and music performed by the WCSU Jazz Orchestra. The WCSU Chamber Singers will perform a capella at the groundbreaking ceremony, and a virtual tour of the new building will be shown during the festivities that follow.

For more details on the SVPA celebration, please contact Director of Development Jane von Trapp at


Contact us

Office of Institutional Advancement
181 White Street, Danbury, Conn.
(203) 837-8419