On Saturday, Oct. 1, Lafayette College is throwing open its doors for a community-wide celebration of the arts. All events are free and open to the public.
The Lafayette Arts Open House is a choose-your-own-adventure arts festival featuring theater, dance and musical performances, printmaking and film production demonstrations, film screenings, and art exhibitions on College Hill and downtown on the Williams Arts Campus in historic Easton. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities including a DIY craft station, drum circles, six word memoirs and a creative writing marathon.
This family-friendly event, which runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include food trucks and a free arts shuttle providing hop-on, hop-off service throughout campus, along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail, and in town, including a stop near Easton’s Garlic Fest.
Lafayette is showcasing its artistic offerings and celebrating the expansion of the Williams Arts Campus, including the opening of Buck Hall. The expansion, a project totaling $21 million, has increased the College’s space for the arts by almost 50 percent and created a spectacular gateway to both the Lafayette campus and Easton. Interest in the creative and performing arts among its students in all disciplines has never been greater and the College is committed to increasing opportunities for artistic engagement and integration within its distinctive combination of traditional liberal arts with programs in engineering.
Buck Hall houses a black box theater seating up to 200 and a 180-seat cinema as well as a box office, control room, smart classroom, dressing rooms, and scene and costume shops. It will support the College’s programs in theater and film and media studies, enhance artistic opportunities for all Lafayette students and surrounding community, and add to Easton’s cultural resources.
“The expansion of the Williams Arts Campus continues Lafayette’s bridge into the Easton community,” says Jennifer Kelly, director of arts and associate professor of music.
The Arts Campus took root with the Williams Visual Arts Building, an art gallery and studio complex that has served both the College and the community since its opening in 2001. But it took the vision and committed collaboration of Easton officials and community members, Lafayette administration and faculty, and Pennsylvania leadership to create an ambitious redevelopment project focused on the arts, education, and the economic development of the city.
In 2004, the city split a $9 million grant from the then Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell administration with the College and the Easton Redevelopment Authority for the Bushkill Corridor Project. This transformative public-private partnership provided momentum for the College to continue expansion of its fledgling downtown arts campus, facilitated the creation of the scenic 2.5 mile Karl Stirner Arts Trail along the Bushkill Creek, and paid for the purchase of the Simon Silk Mill, now a live-work community with studio and commercial use space set to open this fall.
EDITORS: Please contact Kristine Todaro for opportunities to interview faculty and students. Visit the official Arts Open House webpage regularly for schedule and location updates.
Photos: Courtesy of Lafayette College. Photography by Chuck Zovko.
Top: William C. Buck Hall on the Williams Arts Campus, Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., https://flic.kr/p/KPub4f; https://www.flickr.com/gp/lafayette-college/9yKo96.
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