About the Fisher Center
The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by Frank Gehry, illustrates the College’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. The Center’s adventurous programs and world-class facilities provide an outstanding environment in which to create, perform, learn, and experience. The Center bears the name of Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees. This magnificent building and the extraordinary arts experiences that take place within it are a tribute to his vision, generosity, and leadership.
The mission of the Fisher Center is to:
- bring leading artists to the Hudson Valley to engage with the public and the College;
- produce and present adventurous and in-depth programs, including new, rare, and undiscovered works;
- support the development of new work by artists at all stages of their careers; and
- provide a home for Bard student and faculty work in the performing arts.
SummerScape and the
Bard Music Festival
During the summer season, the Fisher Center produces SummerScape, one of the most ambitious and highly anticipated performing arts festivals in the country. In July and August, SummerScape comprises the annual Bard Music Festival (BMF) and seven weeks of opera, dance, music, theater, cabaret, and film related to the BMF’s theme, which focuses on a different composer each year. The critically acclaimed BMF examines that composer and his world through orchestral, choral, and chamber concerts; symposia; illustrated talks; films; and panel discussions. Past festivals have focused on the lives and works of composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Elgar, Ives, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky.
Live Arts Bard
Live Arts Bard (LAB), the Fisher Center’s residency and commissioning program, is a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects, many of which premiere at the Fisher Center. Each year, LAB invites a number of artists and ensembles from the United States and abroad to be in residence on Bard’s campus.
Two programs in Bard’s Division of the Arts—the Theater & Performance and Dance Programs—are housed in the Fisher Center. The Theater & Performance Program offers studies in acting, directing, and playwriting. The Dance Program focuses on contemporary practices and offers courses including dance composition, technique, performance, and production. In addition, the Fisher Center hosts performances by Bard’s Music Program and Conservatory of Music. Many College programs present public forums and special events at the Fisher Center during the academic year.