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The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts will open for student use and offer classes and programs in spring 2011, said Richard Fishman, professor of visual art and director of the Creative Arts Council.

The center will feature a recital hall, three production spaces, a gallery, a recording studio, a physical media lab and an outdoor amphitheater, according to the Creative Arts Council's pamphlet about the center. The center is also designed with spaces for groups to "gather, talk, hold a seminar" in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas, Fishman said.

The Creative Arts Council offices that will be housed in the building should be open in December 2010, Fishman said.

The center will be used for programs and courses taught by faculty from various departments but will not house any academic departments, Fishman said. Rhode Island School of Design students and faculty will be invited to make use of the building as well, he said, and "public presentations and events that will be open to the community" will also take place in the building.

The center was inspired by the need at Brown for a space where barriers between the arts, science and technology could be crossed, Fishman said. He said the resulting spaces will allow faculty to undertake "more ambitious projects with all of these constituents."

Construction of the center is funded fully by "generous donor support" that covers the cost of construction and an endowment for the building, including maintenance, Fishman said.

This project would not have been possible without external funding, he said. "Brown was very forward-thinking by not shrinking back from doing this at a time when other schools were not moving forward with new initiatives," Fishman said.

"The goal is to have a building which benefits all constituents of the University community, Providence and Rhode Island," Fishman said. He said the main purpose of the center will be to "get people to work together and to bring diverse disciplines together."

In outlining the goals of the building to architects, the Creative Arts Council emphasized three main points: that the building not privilege any one department, discipline or media, that it "allow for transparency between activities so that one could generate relationships among people and programs" and that the building be conducive to "chance encounters among people in the community," Fishman said.

"I think the challenge is to maintain the vision behind it and to allow it to grow and develop, always to be forward-thinking," Fishman said.

Fishman said his hope is for the center "to always question assumptions of what art is and what art can become and to play a role that benefits the makers and the audience and contributes something of real value to this community and to the larger community."

"I am excited to see how all those different spaces are going to fit into one building. It will be like a magic Mary Poppins bag of art spaces," said Olivia Harding '12.

Ana Escobedo '11 said she is happy to have a building dedicated to the arts on the Pembroke side of campus. Students involved in theater currently "have a lack of rehearsal spaces and places to perform in general. The idea of having spaces where people can go, sign up and work is wonderful," she said.

The topping-off ceremony for the building — when the steel beam marking the building's highest point is put in place — will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m., Fishman said. "It's going so fast. It's just amazing. In one day, you'll see the steelwork doubling in size," he said.



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