In April 2017, Oregon State University announced plans for a new arts and education complex. The proposal would renew, expand and enhance the existing LaSells Stewart Center providing the university, the greater Corvallis community, and the entire state, a venue for music, theater, digital communications programs and the visual arts. The university is well into the process of securing $35 million in philanthropic funds and is seeking an additional $35 million in state bonds for a total investment of $70 million.
The Arts and Education Complex will be an important part of the university’s portfolio of both performance and outreach spaces. It will bring together programs in the arts, including music, theater, the visual arts, and digital communications arts, creating a thriving center of creativity infused with science and technology. This undertaking will help OSU to fulfill its strategic mission by bringing arts to the people of Oregon through teaching, research, performance and rehearsal spaces; a new visual arts museum; shop and maker space with electronic and computer studio for designing sound, lighting, animation, and video projections and for constructing props, sets, and other scenic items; and mentoring, reception, office and box office spaces.
The Arts and Education Complex will completely renovate and expand the existing LaSells Stewart Center, creating a new academic facility for OSU educational arts. The facility will serve as a new gateway to OSU on the south side of campus and will become an outreach portal for the arts, taking visual and performing arts to Oregon youth and residents.
During the 2019 legislative session the Beaver Caucus will be urging the legislature to support $35 million in bonding authority for the OSU Arts and Education Complex. This project will allow OSU to train tomorrow’s visual, technical and performing artists in a state-of-the art facility, leading to a highly skilled workforce that will support Oregon’s vibrant arts sector. Investment in the Arts and Education Complex will make a difference for OSU students and the entire state.