VAPA prepares events for grand opening of the Ent Center to the Arts

October 31, 2017

Sarah Bubke

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    As the Ent Center for the Arts nears completion, the Visual and Performing Arts Department is preparing to celebrate the opportunities that the new building will provide.

    The Ent Center for the Arts will open in February. According to Kevin Landis, director of the Theatre and Dance program, the center is designed to be used by both professionals and students, and the faculty are also excited for opportunities the Ent Center will bring to students.

    “We are expanding the size of the space as well as the quality of the space. The Ent Center opens up so many opportunities because there is not only space designated for students but there are also these professional spaces that the students will be able to work in as well,” Landis says.

    Along with providing new spaces and equipment, the Ent Center will offer new opportunities for the VAPA departments to work together, according to Daisy McGowan, director of the Gallery of Contemporary Arts.

    “I think that it is going to be more dynamic, because we are all going to be in the same building,” she says.

    “We already have plans for some collaborative multi-disciplinary dance performances that are going to happen in the spaces and along the long corridors and the grounds of the space.

     Students will have the opportunity to attend concerts and productions hosted by the Music and Theatre and Dance programs once the space opens.

   The first two opening concerts will be held on Feb. 13 and 16, according to Colin McAllister, director of the music program. McAllister projects that VAPA will host 25 concerts in the recital hall next semester.

    “[The two opening concerts] are going to feature the music faculty, ranging from jazz, to classical, to everything in between,” says McAllister.

    Alongside the music program, the Theatre & Dance program will present “Our Country’s Good” from Feb. 23 – March 4. Max Schulman, an assistant professor of theatre in VAPA, will direct the play.

    The events will allows the UCCS community to be acquainted with the Ent Center, according to Landis.

    “We are going to have faculty-choreographed pieces in the dance studio, and Manual Cinema will be presenting their puppet presentation that they have been working with students on for about three weeks,” he says.

    GOCA will also open their new gallery, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery of Contemporary Art, with a new show featuring Floyd D. Tunson. According to the Fine Arts Center website, Tunson is one of the most highly regarded and influential artists in the Rocky Mountain region.

    “Tunson’s at the point where he is making some of the most exciting work of his career, and we are really excited to show it and share it with our students through a range of talks and different events in the gallery,” says McGowan.

    McGowan explains that this show will represent new beginnings for the Ent Center.

    “The show is called “Janus.” Janus is the Roman god for new beginnings, doorways and transitions,” she says.

   “It is the name that Floyd Tunson has given himself when talking about his role as an artist. But, it is also really appropriate for the opening of the Ent Center, because it is a new transition for us”

    Other shows that will premiere at the Ent Center include “Oklahoma!” and “Trouble in Tahiti” presented by Theatreworks.

    “Oklahoma!” will run from Feb. 15 – March 11, and “Trouble in Tahiti” will open on Feb. 22.

    The Colorado Springs Philharmonic Vanguard will also open “Bernstein Serenade” at the Ent Center on Feb. 17, which is an important opportunity for students, says Landis.

    “If you are lucky, this happens once in your career, and for students, it’s extraordinary. [Students] are going to be working in one of the best, if not the best, preforming spaces in Colorado and maybe in the country. It is the most impressive, largest project of this sort that I’ve ever been involved in,” he says.

    Landis believes that by UCCS investing in this grand Ent Center building, it demonstrates its faith and support in both students and art culture in the community.

    “This building represents a commitment for the arts from the university and from the state of Colorado. The fact that we have put in an enormous amount of labor and money into an arts facility, speaks so well for our university,” he says.


Upcoming Events at the Ent Center


Opening concerts (Music Program): Feb. 13, Feb. 16

“Oklahoma!” (Theatreworks): Feb. 15 – March 11

“Bernstein Serenade” (Colorado Springs Philharmonic): Feb. 17

“Trouble in Tahiti” (Theatreworks): Feb. 23 –

“Our Country’s Good” (Theatre & Dance Program): Feb. 23 – March 4