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Update: Seats on sale for new arts center at ETSU

Jennifer Sprouse • Aug 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Even though programs have not been printed and acts have yet to be lined up, it’s not too early to put your name on a seat at East Tennessee State University’s new arts center.

Introduced as the “Now Seating” campaign in late April, the project — part of the ETSU Arts Initiative — encourages alumni, friends and the public to purchase one or more seats in the new arts center.

According to an ETSU news release, seats can be purchased and named in three areas of the center –– the 1,400-seat concert hall, a 500-seat theater and a 250-seat recital hall — for a tax-deductible gift of $250 per seat.

“We think that this is an outstanding way to encourage involvement and participation at all levels of giving and also a great way to honor or remember a loved one or indicate the donor’s relationship with ETSU as well,” said Jeff Anderson, interim vice president for ETSU University Advancement. “If a donor wishes, he or she may actually pay for three seats and then name a fourth seat without charge if that gift of pledge is paid in full prior to Dec. 31.”

Individual seats will be open for purchase through June 30.

Anderson said fundraising efforts for the new arts center are steadily getting closer to the university’s target goal.

“We are right now at $4.25 million, given or pledged, and ... so we are almost halfway to the $9.5 million goal and, of course, we need to reach that goal by June 30, 2014. We look forward to working with our alumni and friends so that we reach that goal,” he said.

According to the release, Gov. Bill Haslam authorized ETSU to spend $1.5 million on the planning for the new facility in his 2013-14 budget. The total cost of the arts center is projected to be around $38 million.

“The university plans to raise $9.5 million in matching funds during the next several months with hope that the remaining dollars will be included in the state’s 2014-15 budget,” according to the release.

Anderson said the arts center has been a realization of a long-held dream to provide a facility for enjoyment and educational opportunities, as well as an economic venture.

“The arts center will enable ETSU to have an outstanding educational facility for ETSU students and our faculty, as well as from students and teachers around our region. It will enable, I think, our region to have a shared facility to provide, not only an education facility, but also a facility that drives economic development through the power of the arts in our region,” he said.

In the release, the university hopes to break ground on the facility next year.

To purchase a seat or for more information, call ETSU University Advancement at 439-4242 or visit www.etsu.edu/artsinitiative/nowseating.aspx.

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