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New Initiative Focuses on Revitalization of Arts Spaces
The University of Washington has begun a conversation about the critical importance of the arts on campus and in Seattle, and how to harness the transformative power of the arts for UW students and the community.
Through the Arts and Creativity initiative, Divisional Dean of the Arts Catherine Cole seeks to make the arts a part of every student’s time at the UW, regardless of major. Achieving this goal involves curricular innovation, outstanding programming and cutting-edge, flexible spaces.
Through a collaboration between the Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Sciences and private supporters, a new campaign will revitalize spaces in the Art and Music Buildings on the UW Seattle campus.
The project is estimated to cost $14 million, with each building costing roughly $7 million. The university will invest $10 million, with $4 million coming through private philanthropic support.
With a strategic focus on the student experience and reach of the arts on campus, President Cauce, Provost Richards and Dean Robert Stacey have identified the Art and Music buildings as top priorities for renovation and strategic enhancements. The Art and Music buildings, located at the apex of the Quad, are home to the two biggest schools in the Arts Division: the School of Art + Art History + Design and School of Music. These schools account for three quarters of the arts enrollments in the division, serving arts and non-arts majors alike. They were constructed nearly 70 years ago and since then much about the disciplines of art and music has changed.
Renovations in both buildings will create more open, flexible and contemporary spaces for collaboration, creative expression and artmaking. The projects also offer opportunities to match the built environments with the current needs of faculty and students while creating accessible, inclusive spaces, expanding artistic representation and welcoming broader audiences.
An important component of the Art Building renovation involves the relocation of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, named for one of the preeminent American artists of the last century and former UW faculty member. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery will move to the opposite corner of the building, allowing for improved traffic flow and visibility, as well as the creation of new spaces for gathering and study.
The new Jacob Lawrence Gallery elevates the prominence and place of the space, expands campus and community engagement with the gallery’s important programming, and prepares vital arts spaces to support boundary-pushing art for years to come. Other renovations in the Art Building provide flexible and visible spaces for creative engagement in art and design.
In the Music Building, the campaign also includes significant modernizations to Brechemin Auditorium on the first floor, transforming a lecture hall into a recital hall on the second floor, and updating corridors and common spaces. These updates will improve acoustics and technological capacities, and create a more welcoming and accessible environment for students and the community.
For more information about the Arts Facilities Campaign please contact Stephanie Kornfeld, Director of Advancement for the arts at email@example.com. Maps and renderings included below provide a preliminary glimpse of the new spaces and are subject to change as projects commence.