Sunday, February 8, 2009

Columbia's New Performing Arts Center

I was so pleased as punch: Just a couple minutes' drive from my house in our suburban-planned-community-urban-village of Columbia, Maryland, a famous string quartet played in a theater on a community college campus last night. The significance of the opportunity wasn't lost on me, but I was almost as thrilled to see Howard Community College's renovated Smith Theatre and new Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. I had not seen the Smith for a few years, and the Candlelight Concert Society, host of the Talich Quartet last night, was itself graciously hosted by the nearby Wilde Lake Interfaith Center during construction and renovation. Candlelight returned to the campus some time this season. Last night, I parked somewhere close to where I had parked in the past, but before I found the Smith Theatre, I had to walk around the outside of a couple of buildings that weren't there before, across a new quad and into the completely new building, the Horowitz Center, which had sprung up around the Smith's old home. The Horowitz is ultramodern with an airy, spacious, tiered main lobby. The University of Maryland's Clarice Center on a smaller scale came to mind as I looked around. In addition to at least three performance halls, there are also bright, ultramodern art exhibit spaces.

I found that the Horowitz Center's main grand entrance is on the other side from where I entered, and there seemed to be more parking there. (I think there is plenty of free parking, as before, but I must double check the parking regulations on the HCC site.) The less grand entrance is on the new campus quad, which bears visiting again during daylight for a better look. (Check out what looked like a dragon mosaic brick path!)

a link to the Horowitz Center's page on the HCC web site, with a link to an events calendar

a map of the Horowitz Center showing the layout of the Smith Theatre

Rep Stage, HCC's resident drama company, another cultural opportunity to explore

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