This year is, of course, Indiana University’s Bicentennial Year. During this entire year, we have been commemorating and celebrating all that makes IU one of the nation’s and the world’s great public universities, including its glorious tradition in the arts. The world-renowned Jacobs School of Music, which has been ranked by a number of publications as the finest school of its kind in the nation, and this grand performance hall, the Musical Arts Center, which has regularly been compared to the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, are among the cornerstones of IU’s tradition of excellence in the arts.
But, as grand as this venue is, some of its most basic amenities that provide for the comfort of its patrons have remained unchanged since its construction nearly 50 years ago. And so, in this, our Bicentennial Year, I am delighted to make an announcement about an upcoming project that will rectify this situation.
I am very pleased to announce that a refurbishment of the Musical Arts Center auditorium will take place this summer, to include:
- The complete refurbishment, with new cushioning, upholstery, and seat backs, of the auditorium’s 1,460 seats. This will be the first renovation of the seating in the MAC since the venue was constructed in 1971, and it will result in not only more attractive, but also more comfortable seating for patrons;
- New carpeting throughout the auditorium—which was also originally installed in 1971;
- Additional changes to improve accessibility in the auditorium.
This project is funded by a very generous gift from the Well House Society of the Indiana University Foundation. The nearly 1,000 Well House Society supporters make annual donations to support special projects at IU, for which it is difficult to find support from other sources. These projects include renovations and restorations across the university aimed at preserving the heritage of Indiana University, projects to enhance the beauty of its campuses and recognize its history through public art, and unique artistic performances. This is the latest in a series of major projects that the Well House Society has funded to celebrate and commemorate IU’s Bicentennial. On behalf of Indiana University, I want to extend our sincere thanks to the members of the Well House Society for their support that will help make this summer’s refurbishment of the seating and other improvements to the MAC possible.
And for any of you who are here tonight who might be interested in joining the Well House Society, brochures are available in the lobby.
As we celebrate the Bicentennial of Indiana University, it is only fitting that we undertake this work to provide an enhanced and more comfortable experience for our opera-, ballet-, and concert-going audiences here in one of the truly iconic artistic gems of the Bloomington campus.
I look forward to seeing all of you again in just a few months—in newly-refurbished seats.