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Center for Innovation and the Arts

Center for Innovation & the Arts

Spelman's Front Porch: The Center for Innovation & the Arts

Spring 2022 Groundbreaking & Naming

Spelman College announced that it will name the new 84,000-square-foot Center for Innovation & the Arts in honor of Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., the 10th president of the College. Read the press release: Spelman Names New Center for Innovation & the Arts in Honor of President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

About the Center

Center for Innovation & the Arts

Many of today’s careers require an interdisciplinary approach. The mode of collaboration, popularly known as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), is the underlying principle for the design of the new Center for Innovation & the Arts.

Spelman’s demonstrated strength in STEM, coupled with its extraordinary assets in the arts - visual arts, art history, curatorial studies, photography, documentary filmmaking, dance, theater, music, an innovation lab and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art - positions the College for STEAM, an initiative that encourages innovation, risk-taking, invention and collaborative interdisciplinary work.

Start of Quote“Spelman is investing in the integration of art and technology as the rapid convergence of art, technology, entrepreneurship, the liberal arts and science is yielding new solutions to old challenges," said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. "The new facility will be a dynamic state-of-the-art learning environment that encourages not only disciplinary mastery in the arts, but provides curricular opportunities for innovative solutions to persistent urban problems. The design of the Center is a catalyst for interdisciplinary interaction. A Forum invites participation from multiple disciplines across campus and a Hive, or network of connected spaces, encourages interdisciplinary experimentation, collaboration, active play and research." End of Quote

The Plan for the Center 

• Challenges Spelman students to use technology-inspired solutions for urban problems
• Forges ties between the arts, liberal arts and technology
• Creates an entrepreneurship incubator for high performing students
• Establishes high-level partnerships with innovation partners in academia and industry
• Creates a front porch linking Spelman to its Westside community

The new center will be the home for Spelman’s Innovation Lab; house all of Spelman’s arts disciplines; and provide a “front porch” for the community. The facility will cluster together, for the first time in one building, Spelman's numerous arts departments now scattered across the campus into a vibrant community of innovators, collaborators, artists, musicians and scientists.

With the gift from Ronda Stryker and William Johnston, the College has raised more than one-third of the total cost of the Center, which received it's first gift from Leonard and Louise Riggio in 2016. The cost of the new facility, which includes an operating endowment and state of the art technology, is $86 million.

Center for Innovation & Arts Schematic

A Welcoming Front Porch

The Porch contains community-facing spaces such as a second gallery for the College’s Museum of Fine Art, a dance performance studio, a high-tech digital black box theatre and a small café/retail outlet that faces a public plaza.


The interactive Forum houses the interdisciplinary Innovation Lab, a collection of maker spaces, several digital media and gaming labs, and a multi-purpose classroom/event space.

The Hive

On the upper two levels is The Hive, a double-height atrium envisioned as a multi-zoned area to enhance learning, teaching, practice and rehearsal, performance and the exchange of ideas across disciplines. The Hive will house offices, a conference and event center and a roof terrace.