It’s finally opening night!
Brooklyn College cut the ribbon on its brand new performing-arts center on Nov. 1 during an opening ceremony that honored the Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts’s namesake patrons and their appreciation for culture, according to a spokesman.
“It was really a ceremony to toast to the building and honor Leonard Tow and the Tow Foundation for their support of the building,” said Jason Carey. “It was a real nice event.”
Around 150 people came out to the 5:30 pm event, including Brooklyn College alum Leonard Tow, who, along with his late wife Claire, donated $10 million to build the center.
Other notable attendees included public-relations bigwig and alum Don Buchwald, for whom the 225-seat theater inside the center is named, along with Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson, and officials from the City University of New York, the state, and the city.
Visitors took a tour of the new space, which at 65,000 square feet is larger than a football field. The building includes rehearsal spaces, recital halls, a theater, and rooms for set design and construction. Administrators are still determining the initial programming for the space, so its programming schedule remains unclear, but all of its events will cater to Brooklyn College students, said Carey.
“A love for Brooklyn College and [its] students really sparked the construction of this building,” he said.
The dedication comes nearly two months after Brooklyn College abruptly discontinued its Brooklyn College Presents performance series, firing all of the full-time staff of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, due to delays in renovating the College’s Whitman Hall venue.
But Whitman Hall serves a very different purpose from Tow Center, due to the size differences of the theaters, according to Brooklyn College rep Ernesto Mora, who said the hall includes a 2,400-seat theater, while the Tow Center’s is more intimate with only 225 seats.
The makeover of Whitman Hall is expected to wrap in the spring of 2019, said Mora.