Lafayette College announces that there will be a new and improved, expanded arts campus on North Third street in Easton, PA. The campus will join the existing Williams Visual Arts Building also located on North Third Street. “The arts campus will serve as a vibrant gateway to Lafayette and the city and provide exciting new academic and cultural opportunities for students and the community,” Lafayette President Daniel H. Weiss announces. The Williams family who also graciously donated the funding for the Williams Visual Arts building and the Williams Center for the Arts building is funding this $10 million dollar project. The new center’s plans include a state of the art film theater, a sound stage, a black box theater, and a media and teaching lab. Most of the courses taught will be part of the new Film and Media Studies Major. Lafayette recently added this major due to the popular demand by the Lafayette College Students. It will help strengthen the creative arts program and making the arts “an essential feature of the College ” This new campus will be located downtown in the city of Easton, which will serve to increase the arts community and also to welcome visitors to the Lafayette Campus and hope to attract more visitors to the historic city of Easton.
The new space will allow students to put on productions and gain better experience working in a theater space. Students will also be able to “put theory into practice by making films, media, performance, and visual art, and will become a “destination” for students, faculty, staff, community members, and artists… creating a matrix of different energies and opportunities,” Says Andy Smith, English professor and chair of the new Film and Media studies department, “If we do it right, we’ll draw people in and eventually what they see will make their heads turn.” The new vibrant arts campus should take about 18 months to complete. The new campus hopes to strengthen the relationship between the city of Easton with the Lafayette College community and will certainly benefit both. “It’s only a matter of time before this arts campus becomes a hub of creative interaction, where students and local residents can take classes, view films, visit exhibits, and attend shows,” Weiss said. “It’s incredibly exciting.”
In hopes to achieve the best facility installed, there have been recent discussions and brainstorming sessions regarding the Williams Arts Campus that invite faculty and students to give their feedback regarding suggestions or concerns. It is a great feeling to think the community of Lafayette and Easton is able to give their input and really be heard. Some of the issues raised by both faculty and students were the issues of transportation and lighting. If students do not have cars, they have trouble getting to and from North Third Street, especially when it’s dark out. This poses a problem for many art students, and the idea of a bus transporting students to and from the building could easily resolve the problem. Another suggestion was to install additional lighting on North Third Street to assure a safer community, and also cars would then be more aware of the students crossing the street. These are just a few of the suggestions that the Project Committee promised to take into consideration. This phenomenal campus will really change the whole dynamic of the campus and be a wonderful addition and attraction to Lafayette College and its community.