President Novak announces new welcome center and theatre for Dakota Wesleyan University

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Dakota Wesleyan University announced to its campus community today its third building project in four years – a new theatre expansion will begin this fall.

DWU anticipates the groundbreaking of a new theatre as early as August, said DWU President Amy Novak. The new black box theatre will be built onto the existing Dakota Discovery Museum, which sits on the east side of campus and came under sole management of the university last year.

Within this project is a vision to create a welcome center for the university that complements the museum and tells the story of the university’s connection to the region and its history. The expansion will include 4,700 square feet dedicated to the theatre department with a multipurpose black box theatre seating for 100 to 125, makeup and dressing rooms, a classroom, and offices. The space is envisioned to offer opportunities for theatre performances, historical readings and Chautauquas, or other small group performances by students within the university’s College of Arts and Humanities.

The university has received significant gifts toward this project, but fundraising is not yet complete.

“We are so excited to make this announcement for the university and the expansion of the arts at Dakota Wesleyan,” Novak said. “This facility, attached to the museum, will provide us a unique opportunity to fuse the DWU arts with other cultural celebrations. Fundraising is still underway but we are ready to make this announcement and are optimistic that a groundbreaking will take place this fall, possibly as early as our opening convocation.”

The DWU Board of Trustees approved the project during its bi-annual meeting in early February and authorized the forward action of the planning and fundraising process.