RPI Retains Arts Consulting Group To Strategize the Future Direction of EMPAC

RPI and ACG to consider internal and external stakeholders’ input as plan is developed

July 6, 2023


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has retained the Arts Consulting Group (ACG), an international organization dedicated to advancing the arts and culture, to conduct in-depth discussions with internal and external stakeholders to understand the culture, philosophy, and aspirations underpinning the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). This community input will inform the strategy for EMPAC moving forward and will lead to the recruitment of the center’s next director by the end of the year. EMPAC’s founding director, Johannes Goebel, retired last year after 20 years of service.

“EMPAC is a valuable resource, not only to RPI’s community, but regionally, nationally, and internationally, as well,” said RPI President Martin A. Schmidt ’81, Ph.D. “EMPAC is a unique, world-class, acoustically-advanced performance venue with a research focus. We want to use EMPAC to its full potential for the benefit of the community.”

First opened in 2008, the 220,000-square-foot center includes research and performance space. It was designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects with state-of-the-art acoustics, performing arts infrastructure, and architectural engineering. EMPAC’s four venues are integrated with technology to allow for vivid experiences with experimental art. EMPAC’s programs include a curatorial program, a research program, support for faculty and student research and artistic production, and campus and community events.

EMPAC’s venues are used for a variety of performances and purposes. EMPAC’s concert hall features 1,165 seats, with enhanced acoustics for musical performances and flexible equipment for screens, projects, and staging elements. The Goodman Studio/Theater and Studio 2 are versatile spaces that can be used to create immersive experiences, utilizing both projection and sound technology. EMPAC’s theater features computer-controlled rigging, a 60-foot fly tower, and advanced recording audio and video recording technology.

“EMPAC presents a vast resource for research and production in the time-based arts, benefiting educators, students, artists, and researchers,” said Mary Simoni, acting provost of RPI. “I look forward to learning from stakeholders about how we can best integrate EMPAC into the next chapter of RPI’s history.”

Written By SCER Staff
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