The Reif Center ushers in a new era by celebrating their multi-million dollar renovation project with a groundbreaking ceremony and FREE concert bash on April 6, 2015.
The Reif Performing Arts Center, nestled among the pines in Grand Rapids, has been a unique gem in the community for over thirty-four years. In its early years, the Reif Center presented six performances a year, a mix of local and small touring shows. Now, three decades later, they presents a series of 35-40 nationally and internationally touring performances, plus countless others by local groups. It is utilized far beyond original expectations.
Four years ago, a rigorous visioning process began to modernize the space for a 21st century theater audience, address ADA compliance and accessibility, and provide for future growth. On Monday, April 6th, at 10am, those dreams will be bourn from the dirt as the Reif Center breaks ground on a renovation and expansion project.
A stellar design team led by architect Tom DeAngelo of Alliiance (Minneapolis), who was the architect of record on the landmark Guthrie Theater renovation, and theater planning consultants from Schuler Shook (Minneapolis) have redesigned existing spaces to better serve administrative and theater functions. The footprint of the center will be expanding, creating greater gathering spaces, the addition of a 200-seat studio theater, and new dance studios for the Reif Dance program.
The Reif Center was awarded $3.9 million dollars in state bonding towards the project in May of 2014. There has also been incredible support from the Blandin Foundation, area businesses and individuals so far. Fundraising efforts continue to realize what is surely one of Grand Rapids largest capital efforts.
In addition to the Groundbreaking Ceremony at 10am, there will also be a FREE finale concert at the center Monday evening at 7:30pm. The Sensational Sleepers will perform songs from the 50s and 60s. Members of The Sleepers have all done stints as sidemen with many of the American foundational groups of the sixties such as The Coasters, The Drifters, Platters, Tommy Roe, Lou Christie, Jay (and The Americans) Black, Dion, The Shirelles, Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits) and (most notably) as the core-quartet for Gene Pitney. Seating for the concert will be by general admission.
To stay up to date about the Reif Center transformation progress, check out their website: www.reifcenter.org. The Reif Center has moved their office to the UPM Blandin premises at 2nd St NW. Parking is available on 1st Ave NW in front of Janecke Bakery, across 2nd St NW to the south. You can contact them at 218-327-5780.
The Reif Center brings stimulating arts to northern Minnesota. It is a wonderful resource to take in a local artists group performance and world renowned performances. The Reif Center’s goal is to unveil the new transformation second week of February 2016. Continue to look for progress and updates on 2015/2016 season performances on Visit Grand Rapids website. You can talk to a travel specialist at 1-800-335-9740 to help plan your getaway to Grand Rapids today.