Tuesday, September 18, 2018

UIS unveils new name, searchlights for performance venues

If you were at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield Sunday night for comedian Jay Leno’s show, you noticed some changes in the facility surrounding you.

The university introduced a new name, “UIS Performing Arts Center,” to describe a collection of performing arts entities at the school, including the 2,000-seat Sangamon Auditorium, the smaller Studio Theater and the ticket office.

The names “Sangamon Auditorium” and “Studio Theater” will still be used to describe the specific venues.

Bryan Rives, the director of the now-named UIS Performing Arts Services, made the announcement Sunday night at Leno’s performance.

The changes also comes with a new name — Friends of UIS Performing Arts Center — for the existing donor support group, a new logo, and a new website: www.UISpac.com.

In addition, officials on Sunday unveiled five new bright searchlights, which were installed on the roof of the auditorium building and were ceremoniously activated by Leno at the end of his show. The rotating lights will shine into the sky on show nights.

In a phone interview Monday, Rives said the rebranding campaign accomplishes two things. The first was to make sure more people understand the center’s connection to the university. He said in the past, many people who attended the shows at Sangamon Auditorium didn’t understand that the programming was an arm of UIS. The second was to look ahead toward the celebration of Sangamon Auditorium’s 40th anniversary in 2021.

Several other changes are coming to the newly named UIS Performing Arts Center in the coming months and years, ahead of 2021.

The closest change on the horizon is construction of a new concession stand in the lobby. The project is underway, and it could be open by spring.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 17, 2018.

Read the entire article online.