The Simpson Center for the Performing Arts in Honor of Lois Goutman

 
August 18, 2014
Since 1888, Baldwin has been at the forefront of single-sex education, empowering young women to discover their potential in academics, the arts, and athletics. Baldwin students' academic leadership is evidenced by our National Merit Scholars, top-tier college selections, and successful alumnae around the globe. Our 48,000-square-foot Athletic Center set the pace for national champions and novice athletes alike. Now, the stage is set for our students to experience a venue that will elevate the arts at Baldwin: The Simpson Center for the Performing Arts in Honor of Lois Goutman.

The revolutionary Simpson Center will feature prime acoustics and lighting, and offer flexibility in stage and seating configurations. Performances ranging from an intimate piano recital for 50 guests to full scale theatrical productions for an audience of 300 will be perfectly accommodated. Guests will be welcomed into The Simpson Center via a soaring glass entry vestibule that emits a soft glow during evening show times. A control room expertly outfitted with the latest technology will allow students to learn the ins and outs of production. Performers will look the part after stepping out of the thoughtfully designed dressing rooms. Inclusive of ticketing and concessions counters, the lobby and adjacent green room will host rehearsals, art exhibits, lectures, and other school events. The Simpson Center will truly be a hub of creativity and learning.
 
Inside Baldwin's gates, our girls are exploring acting, directing, musical theater, dance, choral singing, ensemble music, and more with guidance from expert faculty.
 
Outside our gates, Baldwin girls have performed musical numbers at Carnegie Hall and acted with professional troupes at The Wilma Theater and the Walnut Street Theatre. Our talented handbell choirs have shared their prowess with fellow musicians in Austria, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Whether your daughter is seriously pursuing acting and directing, experimenting with professional lighting and sound equipment, or simply enjoying the liberty of artistic expression, The Simpson Center will offer something for every student. We are committed to igniting and fostering the creative passions of our students, and will soon provide an unrivaled setting in which to do so.

Architectural Renderings
After a careful, year-long evaluation process that involved Baldwin administration and members of Baldwin's Board of Trustees, Voith Mactavish LLP was selected as the architect of The Simpson Center. Click here to view the renderings, which demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability of the venue, as well as the brilliant, light-filled spaces that will bring life to performances and presentations.

Renderings are shown above and to the right, which demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability of the venue, as well as the brilliant, light-filled spaces that will bring life to performances and presentations.

Fundraising Update

To date, our community has raised more than $2 million toward the $4.5 million total project cost.The effort began in 2011 with a challenge commitment from the Simpsons, a two-generation Baldwin family. Bob Simpson, father of Carolyn Simpson Scott '74 and grandfather of Adrienne Scott '11, honored Baldwin teaching legend Lois Goutman with the family's generous gift. Goutman served the School for 42 years and is fondly remembered by many for her love of theater and dedication to her craft. Baldwin parents quickly provided the funds to meet the challenge gift and we have been steadily attracting additional donors.

Baldwin Arts Organizations
Baldwin's renewed focus on the arts led to the 2011 creation of the parent-led BRAVA and student-led Arts League. Both have launched impressive projects in the past two years, from initiating an annual Arts Day with workshops hosted by alumnae and local cultural institutions, to renovating the Residence Art Gallery, to restoring the Rembrandt Etching Press purchased by the School in 1973. The new Simpson Center will allow these arts organizations to continue their mission of ensuring the arts remain an integral part of a Baldwin education.