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The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts

FacadeThe School of the Arts has reinvented itself, growing from a small fine arts department into one of the fastest-growing, comprehensive arts schools in the nation in less than 20 years.

The Albert Simons Center for the Arts was built in 1979 to serve no more than 800 students. Now, more than eight times that number use the facility – an indication of the School of the Arts’ continued success in attracting talented and skilled students, faculty and staff. Performing artists, art scholars and arts managers are all proud to call the School of the Arts their home and creative refuge.

Recently, the School of the Arts worked with architects Stevens & Wilkinson on an exciting project to construct a new 70,000-square-foot building, The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts. Stevens & Wilkinson has previous experience in the design of cultural and educational facilities, including the renovations of the Columbia Museum of Art and the McMaster Art School at the University of South Carolina.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is on the first floor of our new building. The first floor is also home to the Hill Exhibition Gallery, a new catering kitchen and a state-of-the-art administrative conference room. The Department of Music is housed on the second floor, which features rehearsal and performance space for ensembles. The Department of Theatre and Dance is on the third floor, with movement and dance studios. The fourth floor includes painting studios for faculty and students, and the fifth floor contains a photography suite.

Renovations of our original building, the Simons Center for the Arts, will be the next step to upgrading our facilities. The faculty and staff of the school look forward to improving the facilities through private and public funding in order to continue to meet the challenges and opportunities that our school's incredible growth has created. We are guided by an awareness of the almost limitless possibilities available to this school as we work toward realizing our vision of educating future generations of artists, art scholars, arts managers, patrons and practitioners of the arts. 

Video tours of the building:  1st floor    2nd floor    3rd floor    4th floor    5th floor

Press coverage (click and scroll down for links)

PHOTO GALLERY of January 8 grand opening celebration

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