Jewish Journal


November 19, 2010

Setting the stage


Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge.

Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge.

Name: Valley Performing Arts Center. VPAC for short.

Location, Location, Location: In the heart of the San Fernando Valley — home to 2 million art-starved residents — on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), at the corner of Nordhoff Street and Lindley Avenue.

The Visionaries: CSUN President Jolene Koester and VPAC Executive Director Robert Bucker, with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson Architects & Engineers.

Details: The two adjoining buildings of the 166,000-square-foot arts complex form a U around an outdoor courtyard boasting drought-tolerant landscaping. Energy efficient and on its way to earning the prestigious LEED silver certification, VPAC includes a 1,700-seat concert hall with adjustable acoustics and a 178-seat black box slated for experimental theater, as well as studio classrooms, a 230-seat lecture hall and a new broadcast facility for the university’s KCSN public radio station.

Built From: 173 new trees; 4,000 tons of steel; 30,000 square feet of glass; 6 million stone tiles; 34,000 square feet of acoustic panels; 11,000 cubic yards of concrete; and 622 floor diffusers for soundless air conditioning.

Cost: $125 million, including $80 million from federal, state and county sources; $30 million from individuals, corporations and foundations; and $15 million still needed (a capital campaign is under way).

The Opening: A glittering black-tie gala is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2011, and the inaugural season will commence Feb. 5. Season headliners will include performers Shawn Colvin, Joel Grey and Marvin Hamlisch, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, as well as the Russian National Ballet, the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Metales M5, plus a lecture series featuring Arianna Huffington, Joan Rivers and Shirley MacLaine.   

For a full calendar, tickets and a cool photo montage of the building process, visit valleyperformingartscenter.org.

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