Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

So Long Bookstore, Hello Centre Street Performance Studio 

So Long Bookstore, Hello Centre Street Performance Studio 

Centre Street

When students returned to campus for the fall semester, they discovered an exciting new performance space had been created for them over the summer. Thanks to the generosity of four donors, the former Peabody bookstore has been renovated and outfitted with state-of-the-art sound and recording equipment. The intimate new space, downstairs from Maestro’s Café, seats 49. In addition to providing a forum for classes and recitals, the space can be reserved for student-run programming, says Andrea Trisciuzzi, associate dean for external relations at Peabody.

“We have run out of performance space and classroom space,” she says. “We also wanted to create a venue where student groups could collaborate on programming and build their professional skills, such as marketing and self-promotion, which they will need as they launch their careers. The donors who made this renovation possible were particularly inspired by the entrepreneurial opportunities this project would provide our students.”

Theron Feist, director of information technologies at Peabody, says the performance space will feature a powerful digital presentation system with a built-in computer, large projection screen, digital projector, two high-definition video cameras, surround-sound audio system, and an easy-to-use set of wall-based buttons to control it all. “The built-in systems will also provide the ability to send audio and video from the performance space to the café space for overflow, if necessary, or for casual attendance at performances,” says Feist.

The lead gift on the project, from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, was $100,000. Additional gifts totaling $115,000 came from the Presser Foundation, the Middendorf Foundation, and from Frank Mondimore and Jay Rubin.

— Christine Stutz