Happy 2016!

The arts had an amazing year at Stanford in 2015.

With the opening of the McMurtry Building, the new home for the Department of Art & Art History, we reached a milestone in the university’s ongoing commitment to building programs, curricula, and resources in the arts. The new building provides an architecturally exciting and inspiring home for the department, allowing it to expand its programmatic vision and increase its offerings in art practice by 35 percent over the next two years. The building’s proximity to the Cantor Arts Center, with its dynamic exhibitions and campus engagement program, and the Anderson Collection at Stanford University — now in its second year as an incredible addition to Stanford’s collection — allows students and faculty to connect directly with the resources of the university’s museums. Across the way, Stanford Live’s third full season in Bing Concert Hall got under way with marvelous performances and community engagement. And throughout campus, exciting programs, classes, and student projects brought creative vitality to all sectors of the university.

This year promises yet another milestone in our artistic journey: the opening of a renovated Roble Gym. Roble, which was built in 1931 as a women’s gym, will house the Department of Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) with the Division of Dance and an “arts gym.” The renovation will include a new black-box theater with flexible seating arrangements for dramatic works, a renovated dance studio, as well as additional spaces for rehearsals and instruction. The arts gym will be a drop-in creative space for art-making. It will be open to all Stanford students, enabling informal performance and rehearsal, storage for artworks, and access to project materials and a community of art-makers.

TAPS will dedicate its 2016-17 season to celebrating the newly renovated Roble Gym. The season theme will be New Worlds, and it will open with the performance of the musical Spring Awakening in the fall quarter. TAPS will hold “open days” — with simultaneous class performances in multiple spaces — throughout the year, and it will conclude the year with an immersive and site-specific theater performance that will spread through the entire building.

The inauguration of the new Roble Gym is just one of the many arts initiatives at Stanford that 2016 will bring. Stay tuned for updates — and find event information on the arts calendar here. We invite you to join us!