Big news this season is the opening of Charleston’s re-envisioned Gaillard Center, a $143.5 million LEED-certified building that has transformed an outdated, ’60s-vintage building into a performance hall with state-of-the-art acoustics and an interior reminiscent of a European opera house.
The new center—part of a multi-use facility that includes meeting, banquet and exhibit space—offers a more intimate setting than the old (1,800 seats versus 2,700). This is an advantage for smaller groups and their audiences, who tend to get lost in a larger space.
The public-private partnership that planned and built the Center defined their mission broadly. Realizing the value of arts education, donors and civic leaders envisioned the Gaillard as a catalyst for fostering the arts and arts education in the community. Aided by the notfor-profit Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation, the Center plans to bring targeted arts programs into area schools.
The Gaillard Center’s 2015– 2016 performances are diverse and include local and national favorites. This quarter we’ll see national vocal ensemble Chanticleer, the 3-day Colour of Music Masterworks Festival, Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker, the Charleston Jazz Orchestra’s Holiday Swing, the Munich Symphony, the Vienna Boys Choir, and the musical, Bullets Over Broadway, to name a few. Future months will feature performances by the New York City Ballet and, of course, the Spoleto Festival USA.
To learn more, go to gaillardfoundation.org. To buy tickets to events, visit gaillardcenter.com or call 843-724-5212.