Spelman College’s Planned Center for Innovation and Arts Will Have Community-Facing ‘Front Porch’

Center will be first new academic facility on university's campus since 1996.
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Spelman College is moving forward with plans to build the Center for Innovation and the Arts.

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Permit applications this week were filed with the City of Atlanta to develop land where the center will be situated.

This will be the first new academic facility built on its campus since 1996.

The cost of the new facility, which includes an operating endowment and state of the art technology, is $86 million.

“Spelman is investing in the integration of art and technology as the rapid convergence of art, technology, entrepreneurship, the liberal arts, and science is yielding new solutions to old challenges,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.

“The new facility will be a dynamic state-of-the-art learning environment that encourages not only disciplinary mastery in the arts but provides curricular opportunities for innovative solutions to persistent urban problems.”

The new center will be the home for Spelman’s Innovation Lab, house all of Spelman’s arts disciplines, and provide a “front porch” for the community.

The Porch contains community-facing spaces such as a second gallery for the College’s Museum of Fine Art, a dance performance studio, a high-tech digital black box theatre and a small café/retail outlet that faces a public plaza.

The interactive Forum houses the interdisciplinary Innovation Lab, a collection of maker spaces, several digital media and gaming labs, and a multi-purpose classroom and event space.

On the upper two levels is The Hive, a double-height atrium envisioned as a multi-zoned area to enhance learning, teaching, practice and rehearsal, performance and the exchange of ideas across disciplines. The Hive will house offices, a conference and event center, and a roof terrace.

Construction on the Center will begin when at least $70 million has been raised.

Kamille D. Whittaker

Kamille D. Whittaker is an Atlanta-based journalist, editor and researcher.

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