CSUN faculty, students await VPAC opening

The Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) opening gala will be Jan. 29, 2011. The VPAC will host a variety of artists, as well as many classes in the new 240-plus seat lecture hall and the new experimental theater. Photo Credit: Ken Scarboro / Online Editor

With the grand opening of the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) less than two months away, the campaign committee is hard at work raising funds and putting the finishing touches on the state-of-the-art facility.

Gailya Brown, senior director of the VPAC campaign, said the committee is gearing up for the opening gala on Jan. 29.

She said they hope to raise $1 million towards the $50 million campaign, which has been an ongoing effort for the past three years.

“We’ve been talking to people and to the community,” Brown said.

The committee has been spreading the word on the black-tie affair, which includes a star-studded show with a vast variety of performance styles.

Brown said they anticipated about 650 to 700 guests for the Grand Opening Gala.

“It’s going very well,” she said. “So far we have about 500 people committed to attending the event. We haven’t even mailed out the invitations yet.”

Individual tickets for the gala range from $1,000 to $2,500 each with tables ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Brown said the performance hall is in its punch-list phase and that every aspect of the hall must be looked over to ensure the finished product is perfect.

“We are going through every single detail,” Brown said. “Since we have not taken possession of the building just yet, we want to ensure everything is finished before the contractors hand over the building to us.”

The center’s advanced performance components and acoustics have been previewed for select audiences and CSUN faculty members.

“There’s been a demand for this (VPAC) for a while,” Brown said. “People have been waiting for this for a long time.”

Sophomore Michelle Moon said the opening of the building will help put CSUN on the map.

“I think people will see us as more than just a commuter school,” said the 19-year-old. “The new center’s going to make us a little bit classier.”

She added the placement of the VPAC on a college campus will benefit students by offering more exposure to music and the arts.

Moon, an undeclared major, said she has heard little to no buzz from her fellow students about the VPAC, which she added is due in large part to the lack of knowledge of what the building will offer to students.

“I don’t think a lot of students know that it (VPAC) will be used by students as well as the public,” she said.

Lindsey Accornero, 21, said she thinks the VPAC will help in promoting and marketing the school to potential students.

“The fact that they’re able to incorporate this public building into student life is great,” she said. “I’ve heard a few complaints about the building from students. I think we need to emphasize that it will be used by the students as well as the campus.”

Accornero, apparel design and merchandising major, said she plans on attending at least one performance at the VPAC before she graduates in May.

She said she wishes she could have more time to enjoy the exciting new changes on campus.

“The Fitness Centre is being remodeled along with the opening of the new performance hall,” she said. “It’s annoying that all these new things are coming and I’m on my way out. I’ll come back and experience it as an alumni. I’ll always be a Matador.”

The VPAC premiere season will begin with the Opening Gala on Jan. 29 and will open to the public on Feb. 5.