Bard College Announces Substantial Donation From The LUMA Foundation
The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in Foundation’s Honor
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College is proud to announce a substantial donation from the LUMA Foundation. The donation, to support Bard’s programs across the curriculum, will be recognized with the naming of the LUMA Theater at Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry, in a ceremony at the Center on November 7. The naming of the LUMA Theater will also be celebrated with a special performance of a new music/theater work developed by composer, writer, and performer Amanda Palmer, in collaboration with current and former Bard students, coproduced with Live Arts Bard.
“We are deeply grateful to have the patronage of such a distinguished philanthropic organization, both to the College and the Center for Curatorial Studies,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “We look forward to working closely with the LUMA Foundation on its many path-breaking projects around the world.” He also notes that the naming of the theater highlights “another point of connection between the LUMA Foundation and Bard College—our work with Frank Gehry.”
Maja Hoffmann, president of LUMA Foundation, states: “Education in all its forms is at the heart of our activities at the LUMA Foundation whether in the arts, human rights, or the environment. We are proud to partner with Bard College, which has proved to be a center for innovation and experimentation with an international focus, from early colleges for adolescents to its esteemed graduate programs. Our focus together will encompass the Mediterranean basin, which is particularly interesting in view of our upcoming LUMA Arles Art and Research Center in Arles, France.”
This substantial donation continues a number of initiatives and collaborations organized by the LUMA Foundation and Bard College. In 2008, the LUMA Foundation and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard), of which Maja Hoffmann is a board member, co-commissioned Olafur Eliasson’s The parliament of reality, a major permanent outdoor installation on the grounds of the Annandale-on-Hudson campus near the entrance to the Fisher Center. The project was inaugurated in 2009 with a conference addressing the use of music in torture, organized by CCS Bard and Bard’s Human Rights Project.
The naming of the LUMA Theater coincides with a major international symposium at CCS Bard addressing the future of curatorial research and exhibitions. The symposium, entitled “The Future Curatorial What Not and Study What? Conundrum” (November 6-9, 2014) is part of an ongoing collaboration between CCS Bard and the LUMA Foundation that is currently developing a new cultural program in Arles, France. This project, located in the former railway yards of Arles, includes a major new building designed by Frank Gehry and the renovation of the industrial buildings on the Parc des Ateliers. Together with a core group of advisers (Tom Eccles, Liam Gillick, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Beatrix Ruf), the foundation’s president and founder, Maja Hoffmann, has charged Bard College with developing the educational component of the program, which will include research, artistic productions, exhibitions, and archives. Previous symposia organized by the LUMA Foundation and Bard College addressing the photographic image and human rights, The Human Snapshot (2011) and The Flood of Rights (2013), were held in Arles.
The newly named LUMA Theater seats approximately 200 people and hosts performances by students in Bard’s Dance and Theater & Performance Programs as well as professionals developing new performances across disciplines. Flexibility and accessibility govern all aspects of this theater’s design – the space can be reconfigured for a number of theatrical and musical needs, including in-the-round, thrust, and proscenium seating – making it an ideal teaching and performance facility.
About LUMA Foundation
The LUMA Foundation was established in 2004 to support the activities of independent artists and pioneers, as well as institutions working in the fields of art and photography, publishing, documentary, and multimedia. The foundation specializes in challenging artistic projects combining a particular interest in environmental issues, human rights, education, and culture in the broadest sense.
The LUMA Foundation’s current focus is to develop a truly experimental cultural center in the Parc des Ateliers in the city of Arles, working with the architect Frank Gehry. This ambitious project envisions an interdisciplinary center dedicated to the production of exhibitions, research, education, and archives and is supported by a growing number of public and private partnerships. Construction started immediately after breaking ground in April 2014, opening is scheduled for early 2018.
About Bard College
Bard College is a highly selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences with a 150-year history of academic excellence. Located on a 540-acre parklike campus in the Hudson River Valley, the College offers the bachelor of arts degree with concentrations in nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions—Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies—and Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations. Bard also offers several dual degrees, including a B.A./B.S. in economics and finance, and at The Bard College Conservatory of Music, where undergraduates earn a bachelor’s degree in music and a B.A. in another field in the liberal arts or sciences. Among Bard’s distinguished faculty are winners of MacArthur fellowships, National Science Foundation grants, Guggenheim fellowships, Grammy Awards, French Legion of Honor awards, Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes.
Over the past 35 years, Bard has broadened its scope beyond undergraduate academics. The College now operates nine graduate programs, including the Center for Curatorial Studies, and has expanded to encompass a network of regional, national, and global partnerships—including dual-degree programs in four international locations; the Bard Prison Initiative, which grants college degrees to New York State inmates; and the Bard High School Early Colleges, where students earn a high school diploma and an A.A. in four years. Bard’s philosophy sets a standard for both scholarly achievement and engagement in civic and global affairs on campus, while also taking the College’s mission to the wider world.
About The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College
Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.
Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, eight weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.
The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. Live Arts Bard, a residency and commissioning program, is a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects, many of which premiere at the Fisher Center. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts.
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October 30, 2014
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