March 3, 2017

Montevallo announces new Center for the Arts

The University of Montevallo is pleased to announce plans for a new multi-million dollar Center for the Arts. The UM Board of Trustees approved the proposal for the Center on Friday, Feb. 10.

The estimated 36,000-square-foot facility will allow the College of Fine Arts at UM to provide a more comprehensive teaching and learning space giving fine arts programs a location to collaborate more across disciplines.

Dr. Steven Peters, dean of the College of Fine Arts said, “This facility is to create a new kind of environment that draws together students and faculty from all of the departments. That’s why I think of the center as a ‘collaboratory’ — where people bump into each other, see each other’s work, have opportunities for more conversations across disciplines in the arts, and encourage more high quality, discipline-specific and interdisciplinary activity. So, it has the potential to be the creative engine for the entire university — a creative engine for discovery and innovation.”

The Center for the Arts will provide opportunities for campus and community use with the following key features:

    • • Performance venues and hospitality space
    • • University art gallery
    • • Theatre Department offices and multipurpose classrooms and studios
    • • Multi-use digital fabrication lab
    • • Scene design and wardrobe shops and versatile storage spaces

The performance venue will include a 350-seat theater with state-of-the-art acoustics and technology for music concerts and theater performances, a 100-seat black box theater and a courtyard suitable for outdoor performances and receptions.

“We want the Center for the Arts to be flexible enough to accommodate students for years to come,” said Scott Dillard, special assistant to the president and executive director of advancement.

The additional classrooms and labs will serve as a major asset for recruitment and growth for the college. These additional resources will allow UM to add up to 150 students in the arts programs over the next five years. The cross function of disciplines under one roof will provide students with more marketable skills for their future occupations.

Not only will the new Center for the Arts serve to promote integrated thinking within the University, it will also act as an artistic hub for the community.

“With this facility we will be able to create truly immersive experiences in the arts. The audience’s level of participation will be immersion,” Peters said.

The University is currently working with architect firms to determine the best site for the new facility. Groundbreaking for the Center is expected within the next year. 



The College of Fine Arts’ work focuses on creativity — but not only on creativity: our mission integrates undergraduate education with arts advocacy and leadership, diversity and inclusion, engagement with social and cultural issues and partnership with individuals and organizations locally and regionally. We prepare students to join the next wave of professional artists, performers, musicians, arts educators and communication experts.


Regardless of major, our students are guided to find their own creative signature, to discover what kind of independent thinkers they are, how they are uniquely creative, how they can become more thoughtful communicators and problem-solvers and how they can become more productive, creative collaborators. By doing so, we endeavor to build the 21st century creative workforce at this beautiful place called Montevallo in the heart of Alabama.


The College contributes to the development of intellectual curiosity, artistic depth and breadth. It provides a solid liberal arts foundation and professional training according to the highest standards to prepare our students to pursue the career trajectory they may choose. For us, an education in the arts is central to the academic mission of UM since it is a kind of liberation—a framework for creative interaction with the world.