A ceremonial ribbon-cutting and reception was held in the lobby of Queens College’s Colden Auditorium to mark the official reopening of four arts venues within the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts: the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Music Building, Goldstein Theatre and Colden Auditorium. These renovations, which took two years, include redesigns and enhancements to interior lobbies and facades, as well as new landscaping, signage and updated technical, HVAC and security systems.
Capital funding for the renovations came from several donors, the most significant being Max Kupferberg and his wife, the late Selma Kupferberg, who in 2006 were honored for their $10 million donation to Queens College— the largest single gift ever received by the college. Their gift was earmarked to support the arts at Queens College and led to the creation of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, an umbrella organization that unites the multifaceted arts programs presented by the college’s academic centers and departments.
Speaking at the June 11 event were Queens College President James Muyskens; Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Sue Henderson; Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning for Construction and Management of the City University of New York Iris Weinshall, Max Kupferberg and elected officials. Members of the Queens College Foundation, representatives from local arts institutions, college officials and students also attended.
“Today we celebrate the vision and generosity of Selma and Max Kupferberg, two selfless benefactors who share the college’s belief in the life-changing power of the arts,” said Muyskens. “Thanks to their financial support, Queens College is now firmly on the path of making the Kupferberg Center the best arts center in Queens.”
Other supporters include the City University of New York/Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; the Queens delegation of the City Council including Peter Koo, Leroy Comrie, James Gennaro; state Senators Toby Stavisky, Tony Avella and former state Senator Frank Padavan; former Councilmember Melinda Katz and Brooklyn Community Foundation (formerly Independence Community Foundation).
“We’ve arrived at this milestone event today because of the vision of President James Muyskens for the arts—his belief in their power to enrich individuals, the campus, and the wider community,” said Kupferberg. “I thank him and all the people here who worked so hard to make that vision a reality, and I am especially proud that Queens College can now offer New Yorkers this transforming experience in such beautifully renovated venues.”
The Kupferberg Center provides year-round cultural programming, including music and dance performances, art exhibitions, plays and literary readings for 21,000 members of the campus community and for the borough’s 2.2 million residents. Each year well over 350,000 people attend these programs at Queens College and at off-site neighborhood locations. In addition to the four re-opened arts venues, the Center also encompasses Kupferberg Center Performances, Queens College Art Center, Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, Aaron Copland School of Music, Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Department of Media Studies.