BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — The Musical Arts Center Indiana University Jacobs School of Music’s auditorium will be renovated this summer for the first time since it was built in 1971, as part of IU’s bicentennial.
Besides being the home of IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theaterthe Musical Arts Center – or MAC – presents dozens of concerts each year in multiple artistic genres, free and open to the public.
The project will include replacing the MAC’s original 1,460 seats and auditorium carpeting, as well as creating additional accessibility features. A small number of seats will be removed to improve accessible seating options.
The renovations will be funded through a generous donation from the Well House Society of the IU Foundation. The nearly 1,000 supporters of the Well House Society make annual donations to support special projects at IU, including renovations and restorations aimed at preserving the university’s heritage; projects to showcase the beauty of its campuses and recognize its history through public art; and unique artistic performances. This is the latest in a series of major projects funded by the Well House Society to celebrate and commemorate IU’s bicentenary.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie announced the project during the opening performance of IU Opera Theater’s “La Traviata” at the MAC on February 28.
“As we celebrate Indiana University’s bicentennial, we commemorate everything that makes IU one of the great public universities in the nation and the world, including its glorious artistic tradition,” said McRobbie. “I am delighted to announce the first renovation of the Musical Arts Center after nearly 50 years to provide a greatly improved and more comfortable experience for our opera, ballet and concert audiences in one of the artistic gems truly iconic of Bloomington.We are also extremely grateful to the members of the Well House Society for their generosity in making these improvements possible.
“The news of the refurbishment of the seats and carpeting at the Musical Arts Center is an exciting development – the fulfillment of a long-held aspiration of many MAC patrons,” said Gwyn Richards, Dean of the David Bicentenary. Henry Jacobs and General Director of the IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theatre. “As we celebrate IU’s bicentennial, these donations will prepare the Musical Arts Center for the Jacobs School of Music’s centennial celebration which begins in 2021.”
The Musical Arts Center at 101 N. Jordan Ave. on the IU Bloomington campus, features some of the best acoustic design and engineering capabilities in the nation. Regularly compared to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the main stage is 90 feet wide by 60 feet deep. Backstage takes up more than half of the building and provides a state-of-the-art theatrical space for technical work.
The renovation of the MAC will begin this summer and will take place around events already scheduled. Updates will be complete by fall for the 2020-21 performance season at the MAC.
About the IU Foundation
Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lasting relationships with key stakeholders and providing leadership and fundraising services for university campuses and units. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the nation’s largest public university endowments, with a market value of over $2.4 billion. IU is consistently ranked among the top four universities in the Big Ten for annual volunteer support.