More than 100 people attended the groundbreaking of Northern Arizona University’s recital hall with performances from the Agassiz Quartet and
the NAU Trumpet Ensemble. Val Ferme, the new dean of the College of Arts and Letters, addressed the attendees, expressing his excitement for the new performance hall and NAU’s belief in the power of the arts.
President Rita Cheng also spoke, expressing gratitude to the university community and to the donors who have contributed to the project. Flagstaff community members and philanthropists Mike and Karen Kitt made the lead gift to start the fundraising for this project. Liz Grobsmith, Stan and Dawn Sutherland, Jeanette Garretty Reinhard and Eli Reinhard and past NAU President Clara Lovett also made generous commitments.
“The impact of the recital hall will be far-reaching,” Cheng said. “It signals the important emphasis we have placed on the powerful role of the arts on our campus. The intimate performance venue richly enhances and elevates the cultural opportunities and experiences for our community and the nearly 57,000 guests who attend these events each year.”
The 250-seat recital hall, which the Arizona Board of Regents signed off on in June, will have a grand and inviting atrium, expanded pre-function space and updated student rehearsal spaces. The design includes glass, wood and stone and reflects the natural beauty of northern Arizona.
It is being built adjacent to Ardrey Memorial Auditorium as part of the original footprint of the Performing and Fine Arts Complex, which will help NAU provide a modern, learning-center environment and an intimate performance venue that will act as a cultural entryway to the Flagstaff mountain campus for the 200 performances and festivals each year.
The area where the recital hall will be built has already been a work zone for weeks as crews laid the groundwork and did the necessary preparation to the current infrastructure to allow space for new construction.