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The Riney Fine Arts Center has had a home on the Friends University campus since the 1960s. While it has hosted high-quality music, dance and theatrical performances for decades, it was built without the future in mind. In order to accommodate updated equipment and create a more welcoming environment, Friends University is seeking to renovate and expand the performance spaces, entrance, lobby and more in the Riney Fine Arts Center. This project focuses on four main areas: the main entrance, the auditorium, the dance studios and black box theatre, and a chapel/recital hall. The following pages give a brief overview of some of the renovations and additions planned for those spaces.
Help us reach our goal
Leave Your Mark
Sponsor a Seat and Engraved Brick Campaign
You can honor a family member or remember a loved one by sponsoring a seat or purchasing an engraved brick to be displayed in the soon to be renovated Riney Fine Arts Center.
Our Bold Plan
The Board of Trustees is launching the second phase of the RISE Up Capital Campaign to renovate and expand the Riney Fine Arts Center to serve students and the local community for the next fifty years.
- EntranceThe renovated entryway will be welcoming, spacious and bright. It will serve as a multi-purpose space with room to host receptions, recitals and other community-centered events. In this spirit, the new entrance will feature a kitchenette and improved storage to support events, updated bathrooms with handicap accessibility accommodations, and a refreshed art gallery to better serve our students, visiting artists and the community.
- AuditoriumThe 2020 spring musical Working was streamed with a burst of color and life, a contrast to the bleak auditorium in which it was held. We desire guests to experience live performances in a space as inspiring and vibrant as our productions. To make that possible, the current worn and uncomfortable seating will be replaced; the stage floor will be resurfaced to better support the physical health of dancers and actors; and the room will be refreshed to create a more inviting ambiance. All of these updates and renovations will position Friends University as the premiere facility for community groups to utilize as well. As many performances hosted virtual audiences this year, the discrepancies in our technological equipment and systems became clear. Updates to live-stream systems will be critical to help usher the Fine Arts Department into the next era
- Dance Studios & Black Box TheatreThe new Music Theatre program, led by Assistant Professor of Music Theatre and Dance, Sheldon Mba, is stirring up anticipation. This growth invites necessity for more rehearsal and storage space, in addition to Black Box Theatre and dance studio upgrades. The current studios are well worn and in need of new flooring. This installation would allow our dance and music theatre students to train at full capacity and with less injury risk. One of those studios will be transformed into a new Black Box Theatre. Lighting from the auditorium will be transferred to this space and the current Black Box will be repurposed for set construction and music theatre storage.
- Chapel/Recital HallThe Quaker tradition is most notably marked by quiet, reflective experiences in which to hear God’s voice. The addition of a dedicated sacred space to the west side of the Riney Fine Arts Center will make room for that same tradition. A place of respite, this peaceful chapel will hold worship gatherings, bible studies, small chapel services, Campus Ministry events, and a recital hall for smaller performances. Featuring beautiful architecture centered around open spaces and natural lighting, this space will be a stunning addition to our campus.
In order to create space for collaboration, encourage the discovery of new techniques and artistic expressions, and debut inspiring performances, we need a fine arts space that pushes our artists into the modern age while still holding onto the valuable traditions of our past. We have an opportunity to foster such an environment with renovations and additions to the Riney Fine Arts Center for both our campus and our community. This isn’t just about maintaining an inspiring building, this is about inspiring the next generation of artists, teachers, conductors, choir directors and worship leaders who are ready to make a hopeful and vibrant mark on the world.
South Side Addition & Renovations
- Lobby Expansion
- Handicap Restrooms Upgrade
- Dance Floor Upgrade
North Side Renovations
- Entrance Expansion
- Band & theatre storage expansion
- Black box theatre renovation
- Recording studio addition
- New Improved Seating
- Sound and technology upgrades
- Chapel Addition
- Hallway Expansion
Cost: $2,000,000 (Funded)
Phase Two Total Cost
Below is the cost of Riney Fine Arts Center renovations included in this phase of the Rise Up campaign:
Help us reach our goal
Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, has continued to grow and develop through the years. Along with a high-quality education, the athletic experience at Friends goes beyond the scoreboard to foster authentic team relationships and drive enrollment. From 52 students in 1898 to approximately 1800 students today, Friends University is a strong, vital private university for Wichita and Kansas. Athletics has been an integral part of the Friends community dating as far back as 1899 when Friends fielded the first baseball team.
At Friends University we live by our R.I.S.E. values. These core values are shared by the Friends community, influencing our behaviors and attitudes:
Respect – Integrity, civility in our words and actions, regard for others.
Inclusion – A spirit of cooperation and equality.
Service – A commitment to servant leadership, caring for each other and our community.
Excellence – Giving our best to our students at all times, that we may walk truly in the light of our faith.
- Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, President
- Brie Boulanger, Associate Vice President of Advancement
- Kimberly Dugger-Attwater, Campaign Co-Chair
- Jeff Ramsey, Campaign Co-Chair
- Dr. Cecil Riney, Campaign Co-Chair
To learn more about Friends University, it’s R.I.S.E. values, mission and to meet our board of trustee members, visit our about us pages.