Summer 2001

Cornerstone Laid for School of the Arts Building

The University will now have the chance to further encourage artistic expression among all segments of Israeli society.

The 29th Meeting of the Board of Governors saw the laying of the cornerstone for the Dr. Reuben and Edith Hecht School of the Arts Building. Its construction is being made possible by a generous gift of the Reuben and Edith Hecht Trust. The Trust's board responded positively to a University proposal to erect an arts building.

According to Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, the new building will be designed for maximum attraction.

Ben-Artzi spoke to Focus about the reasons for an arts center at the University. First, he said, "We have three different departments involved with the arts. These are the Departments of Creative Arts, the only one in Israel to offer an academic degree; the Department of Theater; and the new Department of Music."

In addition, he continued, the University has the well-known Eskesta Dance Theater, which has performed in Europe and is hoping to perform in the United States; a Chamber Orchestra; and North African dance and music troupes.

"The new edifice," he said, "is intended to provide a home for them all. The students will now have appropriate activity facilities and space for presenting their work. The building will offer areas for creative work, practice rooms, studios, students' exhibitions, and of course classrooms.

"Perhaps as important, the Hecht School of the Arts Building will furnish a cultural and artistic venue serving the general public. The building will have a stage for concerts and theatrical performances. It will mount art exhibitions. Workshops will be offered.

"In other words, we see the School of the Arts as another means of strengthening the relationship between the University and the community." In effect, he summed up, "the University has resolved to construct a building that will provide a home of the arts for the whole area."


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