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Media Kit

Press Inquiries

Steve Runk
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

(609) 258 – 5262

Mike Hotchkiss
Acting University Spokesperson
University Office of Communications

(609) 258-5733

Dasha Koltunyuk
Marketing & Outreach Manager
Department of Music

(609) 258 – 6024

Overview / FAQ

About the Lewis Arts Complex

“[Steven Holl’s design] is an embodiment of Princeton University’s deep desire to open its arms to the Princeton community. The building is itself offering an embrace.”

 Paul Muldoon, founding chair, Lewis Center for the Arts


Steven Holl’s award-winning firm, which has extensive experience in the arts, was named as the architect for the project in January 2008.

“It’s a very special project for me because I know that it’s so complicated,” Holl said.

Encompassing about 139,000 gross square feet, the three contemporary buildings share a common “forum” area and house several public spaces, including an art gallery, a black box theater, a dance studio and a music rehearsal room.

The complex will is a model when it comes to sustainability. In addition to featuring a shallow pool with skylights below for daylighting the forum level, the facility is covered with green roofs made of sedum. Geothermal wells provide energy to heat and cool the complex.


Experience in the arts

Holl, whose firm has offices in New York and Beijing, was named America’s Best Architect by Time magazine in July 2001 for “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.” The firm has extensive experience in the arts.

He designed an expansion and renovation of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., which opened in June 2007. The project included creating five glass pavilions that draw light down into galleries that are banked into the hillside.

Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker, wrote that Holl had produced a “striking and inventive a piece of architectural form,” and described it as “a serene and exhilarating place in which to view art.” The project won a 2008 Institute Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Learn more at stevenholl.com

About the Festival

To celebrate the opening of Princeton’s new Lewis Center for the Arts complex, join us for an exciting multi-day Festival of the Arts highlighting the breadth and uniqueness of the arts at Princeton. The Festival will include concerts, plays, readings, dance performances, art exhibitions, screenings, multidisciplinary presentations, community workshops and site-specific events presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Department of Music with professional, faculty, student, and alumni artists. Events will be open to the public and most will be free.

Highlights include:

  • World premiere of Gurls, a new adaptation of Euripides’ classic of the Greek stage, The Bacchae, by two-time Obie Award-winning playwright and Princeton alumnus Branden Jacobs-Jenkins ’06; directed by another Princeton alum and Obie Award-winner, Lileana Blain-Cruz ’06
  • Richardson Auditorium transforms into a surround-sound host for Princeton Music Mashup: rOaR, showcasing the wide-ranging talents of Princeton University’s Orchestra, Jazz Ensembles, Glee Club, the Richardson Chamber Players, and other University music ensembles
  • Performances of A Love Supreme by internationally-renowned choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and performed by Rosas dance company, where four performers dance to the eponymous music of John Coltrane
  • Designing the Lewis Center for the Arts, an exhibition by Steven Holl Architects of concept drawings, models, and construction details showing the working process towards the realization of the new campus spaces from 2007 to today
  • The biennial Princeton Poetry Festival featuring poets from around the world
  • Princeton University Concerts presents an evening with the Norwegian Baroque ensemble Barokksolistene, featuring music from English theaters and the Court at the time of Henry Purcell
  • An “Alehouse Session”  with Barokksolistene, featuring songs and melodies from the pubs and taverns of 17th century England
  • 24 Hour Psycho, an art installation by Douglas Gordon, consists entirely of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 film slowed down to approximately two frames per second and exhibited as an object in space. As a result, a full viewing of the film lasts exactly 24 hours. This installation marks the 24th anniversary of the artwork, which will be screened continuously for 24 days
  • An opera for electric guitar, Orpheus Unsung, composed by Grammy Award-winner and Music Professor Steven Mackey  in a production conceived and directed by Mark DeChiazza, in collaboration with Jason Treuting of Sō Percussion. In this wordless opera, the Orpheus myth is shattered and remade within a space that fragments story and identity
  • House of VIS, a group show of recent work from Visual Arts juniors and seniors curated by Professor of Photography Jeff Whetstone
  • Baker and Tarpaga Dance Project’s 2015 dance theater work, Declassified Memory Fragment, inspired by ideas and themes around memory, history, and images of some of the political and cultural realities affecting the continent of Africa

Other events will include a music/sculpture Art Walk, a carillon concert, a jazz jam session, a French theater performance, community music play-alongs and sing-alongs, community dance master classes, exhibitions, readings, and performances, along with events at the Princeton University Art Museum and McCarter Theatre. 

About the Arts at Princeton

Princeton has a long tradition in the arts. The Department of Music—with an undergraduate major, several certificate programs, internationally renowned PhD programs in composition and musicology, and ensembles dating back to 1874—has long been at the epicenter of a musical culture that reaches from the classroom to the concert hall, and from faculty-led groups to those run exclusively by students. Theater too has long been a vital part of University life, and the campus now features performances from a robust array of student-driven groups including the legendary Triangle Club, founded in 1891. Visual Arts is celebrated at every turn through the campus’s architecture and public sculpture, one of the most impressive university art museums in the nation, and a robust academic program that began in 1974. Creative Writing launched in 1939 and boasts faculty and alumni who are among the most important writers of our time. Dance arrived to the curriculum in 1969 when Princeton went co-ed. In 1994 Nobel laureate Toni Morrison founded the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier.

Peter B. Lewis, Class of 1955, helped Princeton take the arts to a whole new level with his historic $101 million gift in 2006. His support established the Lewis Center for the Arts, home of the University’s Programs in Creative Writing, Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, and the Princeton Atelier and made possible the plan that then President Shirley Tilghman presented to the Board of Trustees that year to “not only to expand [the University’s] programs in the creative and performing arts, but to establish itself as a global leader in the quality of its offerings and in their integration into a broader liberal arts education.”

This deepened commitment to making the arts a fundamental part of the academic experience of everyone at Princeton has lead to an unprecedented expansion of curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities in the arts. Over 1,600 students are now enrolled in more than 150 arts courses each year, nearly one-third of the undergraduate population. Part of the 2006 plan was the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities — a Lewis Arts complex specifically designed to house our students’ artistic dreams and ambitions. The Lewis Center and Department of Music, which together present more than 200 public events each year, invite you to join us in celebrating this major milestone as we explode into these new spaces designed by architect Steven Holl!

» Download architectural photos
» Download a collection of photos of the arts at Princeton, organized by genre/program

Please consult the image FILE NAMES  for appropriate captions/credits, and contact us if you have any questions.

Social Media

Use hashtag #princetonarts throughout the weekend to share your festival
experience with others, and be sure to follow (& mention/tag)
@princetonarts (Lewis Center for the Arts), @pumusicdept (Department of
Music), and @Princeton (University).


“A New Era for the Arts at Princeton”
Festival & Lewis Arts Complex introduction

“A Magical Sense of Space”
Architectural preview

You Are Invited …
Festival promo

Student Profiles

Creative Writing & Theater: Edwin Rosales ’17

Dance: Dana Fesjian ’17

Music Composition: Christopher Douthit ’06 

Musical Performance: Nivanthi Karunaratne ’18

Visual Arts / Film: Alex Ford ’17

Creative Writing: Zeena Mubarak ’17