New Center For The Arts Opens Next Week In Las Cruces

Feb 11, 2013

  New Mexico State University and community supporters of the Center for the Arts will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, Feb. 22, with a special reception followed by the first theatrical performance of the season inside the new facility at the corner of University and Espina.

The gala kicks off with the invitation-only reception co-hosted by the Las Cruces Sun-News and tours of the facility from 5:30-7:30 p.m., followed by the sold-out performance of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." Guests of the College of Arts and Sciences also will receive a keepsake to commemorate the event. Tickets to other performances during the run of the play will be available from Feb. 23 through March 10.

Construction of the Center for the Arts project began in October 2010. The College of Arts and Sciences celebrated the facility's completion with a ribbon cutting on Dec. 14, 2012. Various public officials, NMSU leaders and special guests will be on hand for the grand opening of the center, including Malcolm Holzman, the New York architect who designed the facility.

"This is a building that you're not going to find in New York City, you're not going to find in Minneapolis," said Christa Slaton, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "It really takes your breath away when you walk into it, everything from the design of the theater, to the fantastic mural that covers the entire ceiling. We hope it's going to be a really packed crowd for every play and every performance."

"Our Town" is the first play of the season in the Mark and Stephanie Medoff Theatre. The show runs at various times on the weekends through March 10. For tickets or more information about the rest of the season, visit the American Southwest Theatre website at or call the box office at 575-646-4515.

The Thornton Wilder production is a classic slice of Americana that follows the lives of the Gibbs family, the Webb family and their neighbors, in small town Grover's Corners, in New Hampshire.

The three-story Center for the Arts spans 59,000 square feet on the corner of University Avenue and Espina. The building features a 466-seat performance space for theatre and dance, as well as a large rehearsal room, classrooms, offices and support areas.

The facility is intended to encourage collaboration among various arts programs and provide the community with easier accessibility to the many creative endeavors on the NMSU campus.