Lenfest Center Mission
The primary goal of the Lenfest Center for the Arts and its staff is to enhance the artistic and academic life of Washington and Lee students and to enrich the cultural life of the University and surrounding community through the professional presentation of artistic events at the highest level.
The Lenfest Center is the home of the Theater, Dance, Music and Art Departments, housing their teaching programs, galleries, rehearsal spaces and performances. It seeks to provide a fostering and professional teaching environment for students, to offer a superior space for student and professional performance activities (and related, non-performance activities), and to provide professional services on a rental basis to accommodate artists and organizations from outside the university to present public cultural events.
The compounding of such activities creates a rich, multi-layered and significant body of presentations. Notable features of each of these areas of activity are as follows:
University presentations per se provide the foundation for the Lenfest Center's artistic profile.
The Lenfest Center provides a distinctive and elegant home for presentations by the academic components of the University community. On a regular basis, the Theater Department presents from four to eight productions annually, directed by both faculty and students; the University Wind Ensemble and the University Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra rehearse and perform in the Wilson Hall Concert Hall; student composers give recitals; the University Chorus and the University Chamber Singers, along with General Admission, Southern Comfort and JubiLee appear regularly in concert.
A number of additional academic and non-academic programs at the University, such as the Alumni College, University Development and the Alumni Association have selected the Lenfest Center as the site for various presentations and lectures. The Center has also been chosen for numerous ceremonial events by different University organizations.
The Lenfest Series: The Lenfest Center for the Arts annually presents the Lenfest Series. This series is designed to enrich the community's cultural life by presenting outstanding professional performing arts attractions, featuring broad-ranging repertoire at affordable ticket prices. In addition, it is the goal of the series to create artists-in-residence programs to enrich student life. The Series is made possible by contributors who established the Lenfest Endowment as part of the Lenfest Center's capital campaign and the Washington & Lee Class of 1964 Performance Fund.
The Concert Guild: The Concert Guild sponsors an annual series that brings to the university noted national and international performers and performing groups in the areas of classical chamber music. Like the events featured in the Lenfest Series, the solo and ensemble performers sponsored by the Concert Guild are of a superior quality that would be impossible to present on a regular basis without such special funding.
Outside Presentations: The Lenfest Center is recognized in the regional arts community as a superior space for performance activity. As such, numerous organizations have chosen to rent the professional services of the Center for their events. Some of these organizations include Fine Arts in Rockbridge (FAIR), Lexington Ballet, and Halestone Dance Studio.