Discover the Arts

Learn more about the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.
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About Us

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by Frank Gehry, illustrates the College’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. The Center’s adventurous programs and world-class facilities provide an outstanding environment in which to create, perform, learn, and experience. The Center bears the name of Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees. This magnificent building and the extraordinary arts experiences that take place within it are a tribute to his vision, generosity, and leadership.

The mission of the Fisher Center is to: 

  • bring leading artists to the Hudson Valley to engage with the public and the College;
  • produce and present adventurous and in-depth programs, including new, rare, and undiscovered works;
  • support the development of new work by artists at all stages of their careers; and
  • provide a home for Bard student and faculty work in the performing arts.

SummerScape and
the Bard Music Festival

During the summer season, the Fisher Center produces SummerScape, one of the most ambitious and highly anticipated performing arts festivals in the country. In July and August, SummerScape comprises the annual Bard Music Festival (BMF) and seven weeks of opera, dance, music, theater, cabaret, and film related to the BMF’s theme, which focuses on a different composer each year.

Live Arts Bard

Live Arts Bard (LAB), the Fisher Center’s residency and commissioning program, is a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects, many of which premiere at the Fisher Center. Each year, LAB invites a number of artists and ensembles from the United States and abroad to be in residence on Bard’s campus. 

Student Programs

Two programs in Bard’s Division of the Arts—the Theater & Performance and Dance Programs—are housed in the Fisher Center. The Theater & Performance Program offers studies in acting, directing, and playwriting. The Dance Program focuses on contemporary practices and offers courses including dance composition, technique, performance, and production.

Guest Artists

The fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe. Regular guests include the American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, Trisha Brown Dance Company, and the John Cage Trust.