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Kristin Chenoweth Will Kick Off Opening At New $20 Million Coppell Arts Center 12

The new $20 million Coppell Arts Center will be a 30,000 square-foot multi-purpose venue for performances, exhibits, lectures and special events. 

Architects of Air, an immersive international exhibition, will kick off the center’s festivities on May 14. The exhibition features an inflatable, portable “luminarium” or brightly-lit space. First launched in 1992, the global exhibit has drawn more than 3 million visitors. 

The grand opening red carpet event on May 15 will feature Emmy and Tony-award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth. The weekend will also include a performance by country-singer Rodney Atkins on May 16, and a free public celebration on May 16 and 17 with showcase performances by the center’s five resident arts groups.

A rendering of the center’s outdoor space. Photo: Emilee Prado.

“We are fulfilling our strategic vision and our commitment to our community to bring first-class entertainment to Coppell and our neighbors by kicking off the opening of Coppell Arts Center with exciting programming,” Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt said in a statement. “Having an award-winning Broadway performer and actress, an Academy of Country Music award winner, and an internationally recognized exhibition as well as free community events underscores the depth and breadth of what the Center will bring for years to come.”

Located in the center of Old Town Coppell, the facility will feature performances from local arts groups and national touring shows. The center is partnering with more than 10 community groups and will be home to five resident companies: Theatre Coppell, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, Coppell Community Chorale, Coppell Creatives and Coppell Community Orchestra. 

A rendering of the center’s performance hall. Photo: Emilee Prado.

The center will offer five unique spaces for a variety of different activities. The Main Hall will have 440 seats for concerts, touring productions, orchestra performances, chorale and corporate events. The Black Box Theater will have 196 seats for smaller theatrical productions, art exhibitions and special events. The Reception Hall will be multi-purpose with a 2,000-square-foot space for meetings and dining events. The Grove & Performance Plaza will be an outdoor space for special events and performances. The space will also feature a multi-purpose room, called the Studio Classroom, designed for workshops, lectures and artist demonstrations. 

The original Coppell Arts Center was a 124-seat, 7,000 square-foot theatre that was converted from an old fire station in 1999. But in 2009, Coppell residents expressed a desire for a larger and newer facility that could host more up-and-coming arts groups. The idea of an arts center was revisited in 2015 and a preliminary study in October 2016 was used to create the initial design for the new arts center. 

Rendering of an art class taught in the center. Photo: Emilee Prado.

The center plans to offer teen hangouts, family-friendly events, nightlife for adults, children’s art workshops, free and ticketed concerts, exhibitions and more. In a press release, the center also mentioned efforts to mirror Coppell’s diverse cultures with events like Diwali festivals and K-pop concerts where corresponding cultural food will be available. 

The center also has plans to transform its reception hall into The Hanger, a casual nightlife setting that will not be ticketed. Programming for the Hall starts in Fall 2020 and will include evening events like dueling pianos, bluegrass performances and stand-up comedians. 

Alex Hargis, managing director of the Coppell Arts Center, speaks at a hard-hat event. Photo: Emilee Prado.

Alex Hargis, the center’s managing director, said in a statement he is excited for what the project’s architects and donors have been able to achieve. 

“We are poised to bring brand new experience to an incredible, historic pocket of North Texas. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone this May,” he said.