Janet Wallace
Fine Arts Renovation

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Step Forward Campaign Results
for Phase I of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts renovation and expansion

Donors raised $24.2 million for the first phase of the project, which will be finished this summer.

More About the Project

At the cutting edge when it opened, the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center has served the campus community exceptionally well for more than 45 years. The renovation and expansion project will fulfill the original vision of a "hub" where the fine arts intersect, insuring that Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center serves Macalester well into the 21st century. The project strengthens arts education and invites broader participation in the arts by the entire campus community.

This phase of the project includes new Art History classrooms, a new Art Gallery, a new, inviting “commons” area for the entire campus community, faculty offices, new music ensemble rehearsal rooms, and a renovated Concert Hall.

This project is the last building priority of the Step Forward campaign and this phase is on schedule to be completed in time for Fall 2012 classes.

Commons and Art History

A dramatic two-story commons will be created in the center of the complex which leverages the innovative original vision of the building to bring all the arts together in one facility, rather than spreading them across campus. The Commons will include new Art History classrooms to accommodate increased student demand and house the new Art Gallery.

Art Gallery

A new and expanded art gallery will provide ample space for student, faculty and guest shows. Movable walls will allow for a variety of mediums and to create smaller, more intimate spaces. Walls throughout the complex will be designed to hang student art. Both the Commons and Art Gallery will be able to accommodate campus gatherings, receptions or dinners.


A complete renovation and expansion of the Music building will improve rehearsal and performance spaces for Macalester's choral and instrumental ensembles. Throughout rehearsal spaces and the Concert Hall, sound quality will be enhanced. The Concert Hall will be renovated to create a larger stage able to accommodate a full orchestra. Seating will be reconfigured to improve sight lines and acoustics. All concert and rehearsal spaces will incorporate technology for digital performance, production, and composition.