SUNY Potsdam Celebrates Grand Opening of $55M Performing Arts Center


Ajanee Biggs ’16 and ChaRon Brabham ’14 pose in SUNY Potsdam’s Performing Arts Center, overlooking the lobby.

SUNY Potsdam will celebrate the grand opening of the College's $55 million Performing Arts Center with a ceremony and an array of performances for both campus and community, on Friday, April 25. The grand opening celebration will also serve as the kick-off to the 2014 Lougheed Festival of the Arts.

Now complete, the Performing Arts Center is home to SUNY Potsdam's acclaimed Department of Theatre and Dance, and connects to The Crane School of Music. The 97,000-square-foot facility is the only space of its kind in the region, with a 350-seat Proscenium Theater, a 200-seat Black Box Theater and a 200-seat Dance Theater.

As the Performing Arts Center hosts its first classes and performances, the state-of-the-art facility has also opened new doors for students and faculty to master the latest technology, advance their artistry and reach out to new audiences.

"We feel very excited and very honored to be given this opportunity, and we are working hard to meet the increased expectations that come with a new facility of this caliber. This building is going to be a paradigm of interdisciplinary excellence," said department chair Dr. Jay Pecora. "For the first time, we are competing on a national level. Our facilities are now better than a number of SUNY and private schools."

The center will be one of the best performance venues north of New York City, drawing audiences from across the region and performers from around the globe.

The grand opening celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, with a discussion in the Proscenium Theater. Lorenzo Mattii of Pfeiffer Partners Architects will discuss the inspiration for the contemporary design of the Performing Arts Center.

A reception in the Grand Lobby will follow, at 6 p.m. There will be live music, art displays, dancing, refreshments and a short ceremony.

At 7:30 p.m., everyone will be invited to attend one of three simultaneous performances to kick off the Lougheed Festival of the Arts. The annual student-led production of One Acts Plays will be presented in the Black Box Theater, and the visiting artists of FuturPointe Dance will perform in the Dance Theater, both located in the Performing Arts Center. In addition, the Crane Latin Ensemble will present a rousing concert in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at The Crane School of Music.

All events are free, and the public is invited to attend.

For more information about the SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance, visit

For the full schedule of events for the 2014 Lougheed Festival of the Arts, please visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.