Monday, April 6, 2015

Spotlight: An Inside Look into the New Centre for Performing Arts & Education

A little more than a year ago, the Orpheum Theatre broke ground on the Centre for Performing Arts & Education. Where a parking lot once stood, a gorgeous 39,000-square-foot building rises with gleaming glass windows and much-needed space for the Orpheum's community and education programs. 

We invite you to take an insiders' tour of the new Orpheum Centre in our new video. Alice Roberts, our Vice President of Community and Education, shows you how the Centre will allow us to expand our programs in the following areas:
  • Master classes taught by touring Broadway cast members
  • Adult Lecture Series by local and national arts leaders
  • Professional development workshops for educators
  • Musical theatre intensive workshops for students
  • Technical training in sound and lighting design for students, schools and local non-profits
  • Non-profit management training for local organizations 

Here's a quick timeline of milestones in a landmark period for the Orpheum: 

January 2011: The Memphis Development Foundation approves the expansion of the theatre's student and teacher programs. 

August 2011: Bologna and Associates is hired to research the feasibility of building on the parking lot next to the theatre.
October 2011: An agreement is reached between the Orpheum and MLGW to buy the lot 

March 2012: The adjacent lot is officially purchased.

August 2012: The Crump Firm is selected to design the building.

March 2013: A sustainability study is commissioned to determine the needs and operations of a potential student center.

December 2013: Clearing of the parking lot begins.
March 2014: The Orpheum and Memphis Development Foundation break ground on the anticipated Centre for Performing Arts & Education.

Summer 2014: The steel framework is put into place and the building begins to take shape.

Fall 2014: The roof and walls begin going up.

February 2015: The glass for the exterior walls and windows arrives and installation begins.

August 2015: Anticipated opening of the Centre!

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the Memphis Development Foundation board of directors, $13.9 million has been raised toward the Centre's $14.5 million goal. We've had a substantial commitment from the community -- individuals, corporations and foundations -- and the MDF board and staff have contributed $2.4 million to date. To learn more about supporting the campaign, click here.

We still need your help paving the way! The Centre's beautiful plaza entry will feature bricks inscribed with special messages of support, remembrance and celebration. Learn about how you can leave a lasting legacy at the Orpheum Centre here.

Want to see more? Check out the floor plans at and look for updated photos of our progress on Facebook too!

The Orpheum Theatre's performing arts programs for students, teachers and families currently serve 70,000 annually. With...
Posted by The Orpheum Theatre-Memphis on Thursday, January 22, 2015

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