About the Center
Georgia Tech Office of the Arts
The Office of the Arts will be a leader for the Georgia Tech community in the exploration of the arts by advocating, promoting and facilitating arts partnerships that will enhance the campus arts experience, providing provocative fine arts choices on campus and creating a bridge to the larger Atlanta community.
Ferst Center Presents
The Ferst Center Presents artist series, the major public program of the office, is dedicated to bringing world class performances and artist residency programs to the Georgia Tech campus that will enhance the total learning experience of the Georgia Tech student body, serve as a bridge to the surrounding Atlanta community and engage artists in a way that is uniquely Georgia Tech.
Located in the heart of the Georgia Tech campus, the Ferst Center was conceived as a brilliant showcase for the presentation of concerts, lectures, dance, film and theater. This state-of-the-art facility houses an auditorium of 1,159 seats and features a proscenium stage, orchestra pit, and theatrical lighting and sound systems. It is designed to provide a wealth of diverse and enriching opportunities for both Georgia Tech and the greater Atlanta community.
The Ferst Center programs an outstanding season of music, dance, and comedy performances from September to April. Dance programming usually features contemporary and cultural dance forms, and the wide selection of musical genres includes jazz, folk, and pop music. The Georgia Tech Music Department performs several concerts at the Ferst Center throughout the year. DramaTech, the campus theatre group that has its own performance space, performs one show at the Ferst Center each spring. Each November Ballethnic Dance Company of Atlanta performs its enchanting Urban Nutcracker at the center. The Ferst Center is available for rental, and performances by student or community organizations are often available to the public. Tickets to all events at the Ferst Center are sold through the Ferst Center Box Office at 404-894-9600.
The idea for the Center became a reality when the Callaway Foundation donated $3.75 million of the necessary $7.5 million needed for a new three-building project on campus and successfully challenged the State of Georgia to match the donation. The Center officially opened its doors on Monday, April 13, 1992, with a dedication performance by world-renowned pianist Andre Watts. Originally named the Georgia Tech Theatre for the Arts, the Center was renamed in memory of alumnus Robert Ferst, a man who gave his time, talents, financial support and heart to his alma mater.
Through the generosity of the Richards and Westbrook families, the Ferst Center hosts not only the best in performing arts, but visual arts as well in the Richards and Westbrook Galleries. Presenting a broad spectrum of artists, the Galleries usually feature work by Georgia artists, and often this work combines fine art and technology.
In addition to the internationally-known artists who have appeared on stage over the years, notable speakers and events have included the televised 1992 Vice-Presidential Debate and the Secretaries of Defense roundtable. During the 1996 Olympic Games, the Ferst Center enjoyed a visit from President Clinton while playing host to the world as part of the 1996 Olympic Village.
In 2012, Georgia Tech created the Office of the Arts with the responsibility of managing the Ferst Center, the Ferst Center Presents series of performances, artist residencies and other related programming. The Office of the Arts serves as the administrative arm of Georgia Tech’s strategic arts initiatives, advocating for, promoting, and facilitating the execution of on-campus arts activities as well as community partnerships. Take a look at arts activities and initiatives across the Georgia Tech campus here.
Institute Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Office of the President
Georgia Institute of Technology
Diversity is one of Georgia Tech’s greatest strengths and one of the major priorities identified in our twenty-five-year strategic plan.
“We will recruit, develop, retain, and engage a diverse cadre of students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, interests, and talents, creating a campus community that exemplifies the best in all of us—in our intellectual pursuits, our diversity of thought, our personal integrity, and our inclusive excellence.” —Georgia Tech Strategic Plan
At Tech, we embrace and leverage diversity in all its manifestations. We are proud that we are one of the most diverse universities in the world, with students who represent every state in the nation and more than 100 countries. In the years ahead, our goal is to continue to build a campus culture of collegiality, close collaboration, global perspective, intercultural sensitivity, respect, and thoughtful interaction among a diverse community of students, employees, and alumni.
We realize that, in order to achieve our vision for Georgia Tech as a leader in influencing the major technological, social, and policy decisions in the twenty-first century, we must recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from a wide array of backgrounds, perspectives, interests, and talents. In doing so, we will create a community that exemplifies the best in all of us---our intellectual pursuits, our diversity of thought, and our personal integrity. Our mission to achieve inclusive excellence means unleashing the full potential of Tech's human capacity to create a better, sustainable future for us all.
You are invited to join us on the journey of creating and sustaining a future that builds upon the talents of all members of our community in addressing the major challenges of this and future generations.