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May 15, 2014

City College of New York Launches Center for the Arts

City College Center for the Arts Managing Director Greg Shanck, left, and Artistic Director David Covington

Aaron Davis Hall is the home of the City College Center for the Arts

City Council, CUNY Commit $12.5 Million for renovations, upgrades to Aaron Davis Hall

The City College of New York is proud to announce the launch of The City College Center for the Arts (CCCA). The Center will serve as a cultural hub that builds a sense of community both within the school and its surrounding neighborhood, while inspiring creativity and diversity. It will also provide a premier venue for local and national performers and for art patrons in the tri-state area.

Aaron Davis Hall, now under the auspices of The City College Center for the Arts, is the focal point of this creative revitalization. It is currently undergoing a $2.5 million lobby and exterior renovation, and the New York City Council and CUNY have committed more than $10 million over the next five years for additional capital improvements.

“The college is very passionate about its ownership of Aaron Davis Hall and the arts,” said Karen Witherspoon, City College vice president of government and community affairs, who is providing leadership for the arts initiative. City College has assembled a “phenomenal and diverse” board of directors and advisory board with a deep-rooted commitment to the arts to provide governance and guidance, she added.

Aaron Davis Hall is the largest performing arts center in Manhattan north of Lincoln Center. It features two theaters that seat 630 and 267, respectively, and a studio complex. The venue showcases performances that are multicultural in focus, including classical, jazz and Latin music, dance, theater, literary readings, film, performance art and art exhibitions.

“The City College Center for the Arts begins a new chapter for City College and the Harlem community at large,” said Gregory Shanck, managing director of CCCA. “We are thrilled about this new venture that will strengthen our commitment to bring quality culture and arts programs to the constituents of this great city and our neighboring community.”

David Covington, dancer, actor and events producer, has been named artistic director for the Center. Among other accomplishments, he was a dancer with the international sensation “Tap Dogs” and also served as associate producer for the Department of Special Programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

“The City College Center for the Arts programs will challenge viewpoints and inspire debate,” he said. “We will reach across the aisle and guide patrons on a journey of discovery, understanding and cultural celebration.”

About The City College of New York
For 167 years, CCNY has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.