Ardrey Memorial Auditorium unveils seating renovation campaign

NAU's Community Music and Dance Academy
Members of NAU’s Community Music and Dance Academy are dancing for joy at the prospect of new seats in Ardrey Auditorium. Photo by Amanda Voisard

More than 1 million patrons have taken a seat at NAU’s Ardrey Memorial Auditorium since 1973 to enjoy music, theater, dance and more. But after 40 years of live performances, the seats have seen better days. A new capital campaign is under way, however, to return the auditorium to its former glory and bring more comfort to show-goers.

The Take-a-Seat campaign kicked off recently with a mission to replace nearly 1,000 seats on the ground floor of northern Arizona’s largest performance venue. Seeking contributions from community members, alumni and arts enthusiasts alike, the campaign will offer donors the opportunity to become a permanent part of the theater by having their names engraved on a sponsored theater seat.

“I have spent many an evening attending a wide range of different fabulous cultural events throughout the years,” said Liz Grobsmith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at NAU. “Like everyone who has ever spent time sitting in the audience, I have thought that the venue deserves higher-quality seats.”

Grobsmith is among many community leaders who already have taken a seat at the auditorium by making a tax-deductible donation to the campaign, and organizers hope to complete the campaign and unveil the new seats as early as fall 2011.

For information or to contribute, visit or call (928) 523-5011.