Rensselaer kicked off the official opening of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) on Friday, Oct. 3, and is continuing the celebration through this weekend. EMPAC was made possible by a lead gift of $40 million from Nvidia co-founder and Rensselaer alumnus Curtis Priem ’82.
The building was formally named for Priem at the Oct. 3 dedication.
The celebration began with a Presidential Colloquy titled “Photons, Sound Waves, and Data Bytes: Creativity at the Nexus of Science, Technology, Media and the Arts” that focused on the driving forces and dynamics of the present age that require interdisciplinary creativity.
The colloquy participants were: President Shirley Ann Jackson, who moderated the discussion; A. Preetham Parigi, managing director and CEO, Entertainment
Network (India) Ltd.- Radio Mirchi, and CEO of Times Infotainment Media Ltd.; Walter Parkes, film producer and executive producer of more than 30 films and former co-head of DreamWorks Pictures; and Peter Schwartz ’68, acclaimed futurist, entrepreneur, and founder and chairman of Global Business Network.
Immediately following the colloquy, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held featuring President Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Samuel Heffner ’56, EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel, and Curtis Priem ’82.
The opening weekend events were highlighted by a one-of-a-kind concert featuring performances by the Albany Symphony Orchestra with conductor David Alan Miller, known for its pioneering advocacy of American music; the International Contemporary Ensemble, a top chamber group from Chicago; the Vox Vocal Ensemble, with director George Steel, acclaimed specialists in early and contemporary music; and Per Tengstrand, the Swedish piano virtuoso. Other events included dance and multimedia performances, the premiere of DANCE MOViES commissioned by EMPAC, lectures, exhibits, a scientific visualization and research presentation, and much more.
EMPAC has a full slate of events planned for the remainder of the academic year.
For a complete schedule of events, visit empac.rpi.edu.
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