The Arts Are Thriving in South Kansas City

Avila University has announced a $3.5 million contribution and has unveiled renderings for a new Goppert Performing Arts Center.

The donation, the largest single gift in Avila’s 100-year history, was made through the estate of Mrs. Vita Goppert, a generous patron of the arts and Avila’s first lay female board member.

Dr. Charlene Gould, Ph.D., dean of the college of liberal arts & professor of theatre made announcement of the gift to board members, patrons, faculty, staff and students. Theatre students, faculty, staff and Goppert patrons were on hand to support announcement and the unveiling of the building renderings.

“The current theatre has been with us and it’s a wonderful space”, said Gould. “What we’re lacking is the training facilities around it. We currently have a small scene shop where we can’t build and load in, so we have to actually build scenes on stage.”

The new Goppert Performing Arts Center will provide students with additional performance spaces, classrooms, rehearsal areas, equipment and technology, and a newly designed scene shop. In addition, a 200-seat laboratory blackbox theatre will allow for more intimate performances.

A grand entrance of the new Goppert Performing Arts Center will be the focal point for the campus and the visiting community. The multi-level, naturally illuminated lobby will serve as a welcoming area for students, community members and theatre patrons. The atrium will also provide space for informal learning, social functions, pre-performance events and post-performance conversations.

“Having an actual performing arts center surrounding the Goppert Theatre”, Gould said, “will provide more opportunities for students as well as relieving congestion because of the university’s programs have expanded.”

The Goppert Performing Arts Center will culminate Avila University’s $43 million Centennial Campaign with The Creative Arts Initiative, as the special focus to promoting the arts. Groundbreaking is scheduled for spring of 2017.

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KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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