Feb. 27 – The University of Utah today announced the completion of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex, a $37.5 million interdisciplinary facility for arts and education. The new facility was made possible by a leading $12.5 million donation from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, the largest single donation in support of arts and education in university history.
“The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex is truly a culmination of the vision my mother had of bringing together the arts and education to improve the learning experience for Utah students,” said Ann Crocker, president of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. “We lost my mother last year, but I know she would have been unbelievably proud to know her legacy is being carried forward.”
This new complex will be home to the university’s College of Education and Tanner Dance Program and has been designed to serve as the premier academic hub of evidence-based K-12 arts integration research, training, practice and advocacy in the nation. This unique and unprecedented collaboration aligns with the Sorenson Legacy Foundation’s long-time support of bringing arts-rich instruction to Utah and will focus on five main activities: academic research; interdisciplinary pre-service teacher and arts specialist training; professional development for teachers and education leaders; programming for schools, youth and families; and community involvement and leadership.
“The completion of this building represents the beginning of an incredibly exciting endeavor for the University of Utah that has the potential to profoundly impact arts-integrated education on a national scale,” said David Pershing, president of the University of Utah. “The interdisciplinary work of the College of Education and the College of Fine Arts is focused on the ongoing development of teaching models in which the arts are used to teach multiple subjects. That work focuses on visual arts, theater, music and dance. The nationally recognized Tanner Dance Program will be the resident arts group within the new facility and has a more than 75-year legacy of providing dance and arts instruction for children and adults and professional development for teachers.”
Features of the 110,000-square-foot facility include seven classrooms with distance education capabilities, a 200-seat auditorium, a demonstration space for the latest techniques and approaches for integrated curriculum models, 27 conference and project rooms, six dance studios, a black box theater, an art studio and a costume fabrication shop. A model classroom will make it possible for researchers and educators to observe and demonstrate the latest techniques and approaches for integrated curriculum models.
“We know that the arts can have a profoundly positive impact on education for children, and this new building provides us the opportunity to explore that concept in deeply meaningful and enriching ways,” said María Fránquiz, dean of the College of Education.
“As far as I am aware, never before has an undertaking as deliberate or elaborate as this new interdisciplinary complex been attempted, and it is incredibly exciting to be part of it,” said Raymond Tymas-Jones, associate vice president for the Arts and dean of the College of Fine Arts. “Utah has a long history of supporting arts-integrated education efforts, and those good works will continue in perpetuity at this new complex.”
For more information on the new facility and the arts and education initiative, please click here.
About the Sorenson Legacy Foundation
Based in Salt Lake City, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family for the exclusive purpose of promoting charitable, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors.