Our rich history began on March 6, 1981 as The Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, with a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the newly constructed Bass Concert Hall. The $44 million building was The University of Texas’ largest construction project to date. Later joined by four other venues − including Bates Recital Hall, and the McCullough, Payne, and Brockett Theatres − Texas Performing Arts has become one of the most important contributors of cultural life in Central Texas.
Each year, Texas Performing Arts offers a diverse season of music, theatre, dance, and conversation, and during the past 30 years has presented such world-class artists as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Victor Borge, Nina Simone, Ornette Coleman, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Van Morrison, Philip Glass, Ella Fitzgerald, and The English National Opera. We are also the proud home of Broadway Across America-Austin, and have presented the Austin premieres of The Lion King, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera. Until 2007, Bass Concert Hall was also home to Ballet Austin, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Austin Lyric Opera.
As a university-based arts center we are also committed to serving the academic mission of the College of Fine Arts by supporting the work of our students, faculty and staff on our stages, classrooms, studios and production shops; and in the educational outreach programs we provide for the Austin community.
Over the years, Texas Performing Arts continued to grow and prosper through the remarkable support of our donors and sponsors. In addition to helping us renovate Bass Concert Hall in 2007, support from donors and sponsors underwrites our Campus and Community Engagement offerings and our recently established Student Ticket Fund, which makes it possible for students of all ages to purchase $10 tickets to all of our performances.
As Texas Performing Arts prepares for the next 30 years, we aspire to expand our world-class programming and endeavor to strengthen the bond between the performing arts and our community, where everyone is invited to enjoy, participate, and learn.