Center for the Arts reopens after summer remodel
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – When the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Center for the Arts first opened in the spring of 1983, the $5 million dream facility took UW-Platteville from the only campus in the UW System without a center for the teaching and performing of music and theatre, to a campus that drew, and continues to draw, nationally- and internationally-known artists annually. Built to be a cultural hub for the entire southwestern Wisconsin community and beyond, the CFA is now better than ever following a partial remodel this summer.
Kevin M. Hankes, 2012 UW-Platteville alumnus and Arts Facilities and Series marketing specialist who has worked at the CFA since 2008, said he is most excited for visitors to see the expanded lobby and new staircase, which was redesigned with transparent panels and relocated from the center of the lobby to the northwest side.
“The renovations corrected several common concerns by patrons in the past several years, such as the need for larger restroom facilities, sound-proof doors at the entrances to the concert hall, and a safer and more convenient location for the lobby’s concrete staircase,” said Hankes. “Nearly all of the changes have been a result of addressing these concerns, and I expect the renovations to make our facility a much more enjoyable experience for everybody.”
Hankes said more than 25,000 people visited the CFA in 2011 for events such as the popular Performing Arts Series, which includes the Golden Dragon Acrobats, Giordano Dance Company and Vienna Boys Choir this year, as well as student plays and musicals, faculty and staff concerts, senior recitals, and performances by the campus band, orchestra and choral organizations.
“Price and value for money are two of the greatest things the CFA can offer patrons,” said Hankes. “I categorize them separately because at the CFA, it isn’t just about going to see a show; it is about an experience. The renovations in the lobby, for example, serve to improve on this and make each performance an experience that patrons will want to come back to.”
The facility, which is also used as an academic building for student classes, features a 200-seat flexible theatre that can be arranged in arena, thrust, three-quarter round or end stage format, several rehearsal and practice rooms, a box office, dressing rooms, workshops for costume and scene construction, and the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall, which seats 565 and includes a 9-foot Steinway piano, 40 rank concert organ, hydraulically-controlled orchestra pit and state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting.
Hankes added that the facility is almost entirely staffed by students.
“There are many aspects that I love about working here, but the thing I love the most is the positive, cooperative work environment that has been established,” said Hankes. “The CFA is easily one of the best places to work on campus.”
Michael Breitner, who joined UW-Platteville as director of Arts Facilities and Series in 2011, said one of the things that struck a positive chord for him when he was considering the directorship was the university’s strategic plan, and in particular, the theme ‘Culture’ and the initiative listed below it: Serve as the cultural center for the arts for southwest Wisconsin.
Breitner said he and his team aim to continue that initiative and take the Center for the Arts, which was billed as “a contemporary marvel of design” upon its opening nearly 30 years ago, even further.
Contact: Michael Breitner, director, UW-Platteville Arts Facilities and Series, (608) 342-1267, firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Barbara Weinbrenner, communications specialist, UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, email@example.com