Duke gets $25M gift for arts, to build arts center

The Duke University Board of Trustees committed this weekend to building a $50 million hub for the arts on campus.

Posted Updated
DURHAM, N.C. — The Duke University Board of Trustees committed this weekend to building a $50 million hub for the arts on campus.

The 71,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to take two years to build, will feature a dance studio along with a dozen multi-use studios, a 200-seat performance theater, a 100-seat film theater, a garden, lounge, library, reception space, a painting and drawing studio, offices and classrooms.

"The arts building represents a major step in Duke's commitment to supporting the artistic work of our students and faculty," Duke President Richard Brodhead said in a statement.

The new arts center at Duke is the largest and most recent in a series of university investments in arts facilities, programs and faculty that total close to $100 million over the last decade. This commitment to arts education, training and performance is a reflection of rising student interest and a desire to make the arts a more central element of the overall Duke experience, said Scott Lindroth, a music professor and vice provost for the arts.

Three times as many prospective students include arts portfolios with their applications as did a decade ago, officials said. Two certificate programs in the arts, along with the four-year-old Master of Fine Arts program, have been approved in recent years, and the number of student arts organizations has increased to 75.

David Rubenstein, chairman of the Board of Trustees and a longtime supporter of the arts, also pledged a $25 million gift to Duke's arts programs, activities and performances.

Rubenstein, a 1970 Duke graduate, is one of the leading arts philanthropists and advocates in the country. He is chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a trustee of the National Gallery of Art and a member of the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“Duke has made great progress in recent years in bringing the arts to the same level of excellence we expect in anything that the university does," Rubenstein said in a statement. "I look forward to this new building, and the programs and performances that will take place in it, becoming an essential part of every Duke student's experience."


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.