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Art is in the air in Tempe

Thousands attended Tempe Center for the Arts' opening

 by Brittany McCall
 published on Monday, September 10, 2007

<b>CENTER FOR THE ARTS:</b> The Tempe Center for the Arts hosted a grand opening party on Sunday that included live entertainment and a free barbecue./issues/news/701668
Morgan Bellinger / THE STATE PRESS
CENTER FOR THE ARTS: The Tempe Center for the Arts hosted a grand opening party on Sunday that included live entertainment and a free barbecue.
 

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Thousands of art enthusiasts crowded the edge of Tempe Town Lake Sunday for the opening day of the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Opening day events included excerpts from plays and musicals performed by the Childsplay and Tempe Little Theatre acting troupes, local orchestras and musicians and formal introductions to the center by representatives from Architekton, the building's architect.

The broad representation of arts seemed to mirror the equally eclectic audience, said Annie Pennell, an English literature senior.

Pennell said she originally ventured out to the center's opening day event because her friends were interested in the center gallery, but said she was glad she attended.

"I really enjoyed the performances," Pennell said. "I really liked the musicals, so I'll definitely be coming back for those."

For others, like Samantha Richter, an anthropology senior at UA who commutes from and considers Tempe her home, the architecture of TCA was reason enough to attend the opening.

"It's such a unique building," Richter said. "And seeing it from [Loop 202], I wanted to see what it was about, what was going on and what it was going to look like [when finished]."

Richter added that like Pennell, she was extremely interested by the play and musical excerpts, and was likely to attend the full plays at TCA as a result.

According to the TCA Web site, the center itself includes a 600-seat theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a 3,500 square-foot gallery.

TCA also features a lakeside reflecting pool.

The center spans about 17-acres, according to the Web site.

TCA was a result of Proposition 400, which was passed in May 2000, according to a City of Tempe press release.

Richter said she believes the center will benefit the already artistic city of Tempe, but also help people who don't experience the arts at all.

Patrick Fanning, a collaborative piano music senior at ASU, agreed with Richter.

"I think [the center's presence] will stimulate the arts a little bit," Fanning said. "It might bring newer audiences to things that people wouldn't necessarily come to if the center wasn't here."

Reach the reporter at brittany.mccall@asu.edu



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