Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, the 110,000-squarefoot Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College opened in 2003. The Fisher Center, named for the former chair of Bard's Board of Trustees, houses two theaters as well as the Felicitas S. Thorne Dance Studio, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Theater Studio, and professional support facilities. The Sosnoff Theater, an intimate 900-seat theater with an orchestra, parterre, and two balcony sections, features an orchestra pit for opera and an acoustic shell designed by Yasuhisa Toyota that turns the theater into a first-class concert hall for performances of chamber and symphonic music. The LUMA Theater is a flexible, black box theater with adjustable, bleacher-type seating that is used for teaching and for student and other performances. The Fisher Center is home to the undergraduate Theater and Performance and Dance Programs, the Bard Music Festival, which entered its 23rd season in August 2012, and Bard SummerScape, an annual festival of opera, theater, film, and dance.