College Planning & Management

AUG 2012

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Facility Focus AUDITORIUMS AND PERFORMING ARTS University of Maine at Farmington Emery Community Arts Center L AST SEPTEMBER, THE EMERY Community Arts Center (ECAC) threw its oversized doors wide open to the public. Although located in the heart of campus at the University of Maine in Farmington (UMF), the build- ing is intended to exhibit the talents of students and local artists alike. A stipula- tion from an anonymous donor, whose $5M gift made the facility possible, was that no University offi ces or classrooms be located in the building. Instead, a generous lobby, fl exible galleries, a transformable performance hall, and support spaces are all available to local visual and performing artists and the greater community. The 16,000-sq.-ft. ECAC is annexed to the historic Alumni Theatre (home to the University's theater department) and en- cases its southwest façade, which acts as a backdrop for displaying artwork. This seam coincides with the main campus throughway, which is the physical con- nector between those of and those around the University. To the west, an outdoor performance space energizes the campus green and provides space for formal out- door performances. A bi-folding, airplane hangar door acts as a "curtain" between the indoor stage of the Studio Theater and an audience seated on the outdoor lawn. Jane Decker, artistic director, imagines that, "Summer concerts or Shakespearean performance can be played here before an audience seated out on blankets and beach chairs with picnic-basket suppers sprawled across the good green lawn." The Studio Theater itself is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Its 23-ft.-high ceilings support a latticework for endless lighting, sound, and projection confi gurations. The ECAC is named for Ted and Mar- guerite Emery. These former professors at UMF were active in local arts and inspired many in the community. The building was designed by design- LAB architects of Boston, MA. CPM AUGUST 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 55 PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER VANDERWARKER © 2011

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