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Rally 'Round the Arts to be held Sept. 23

New Mexico State University, together with community volunteers and artists, will hold a Rally 'Round the Arts event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in celebration of the Center for the Arts project.


Local artists, dancers, musicians and other performers will entertain the crowd at the corner of University Avenue and Espina Street, the planned site for the new center. University corridor restaurants also will be on hand to tempt taste buds with samples from their establishments.

NMSU's Center for the Arts will gather the university's scattered arts programs in one central location, encouraging more collaborative activity and providing the community easier accessibility to the many creative endeavors on campus.

"The center will add to the current dynamic arts scene by providing a resource for Las Cruces and NMSU to grow hand-in-hand," said Greg Fant, interim dean for NMSU's College of Arts and Sciences.

Ammu Devasthali, who chairs a Volunteer Leadership Advisory Committee dedicated to the project, said the Center for the Arts will be especially important for the youth in southern New Mexico and the entire border region.

"The center will provide so many opportunities for young people from surrounding communities to experience art like never before," she said. "Art is uplifting for everyone, especially during hard times. It does so much for the human psyche."

Construction on Phase I of the project is scheduled to begin in 2010. Phase I includes a Dance and Theatre Arts Performance Hall, classrooms and rehearsal space, state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology, fly space and an orchestra pit.

"The new stage at the Center for the Arts will be an amazing venue offering beauty for the audience as well as an appropriate stage for artists to perform," said Paco Antonio, instructor for NMSU's College of Education, Department of Human Performance, Dance and Recreation. Antonio and his wife, Lucilene de Geus, perform together and individually as part of multiple dance groups.

For more information on the Rally 'Round the Arts event, call (575) 646-2008. For more information on the Center for the Arts, visit http://artscenter.nmsu.edu/index.php.