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Why WIU’s PAC became known as a CPA

The Goldfarb Center for Performing Arts continues to take shape on the WIU Macomb campus.
Rich Egger
The Goldfarb Center for Performing Arts continues to take shape on the WIU Macomb campus.

The Center for Performing Arts (CPA) at Western Illinois University was originally referred to as a performing arts center (PAC).

There is a difference, in the opinion of Billy Clow, Dean of WIU’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. He suggested the change when he came to Western a little more than a decade ago.

Clow told the WIU Board of Trustees this month that he felt “performing arts center” did not adequately describe the place.

”’Performing arts center’ to me – and maybe this is just semantics – but I looked at that as a building. It’s just a place, right? That’s the performing arts center,” Clow said.

So, he told the administration at that time that the building needed to be known as the Center for Performing Arts.

“Because to me that says this is the center of the arts for this region, and we are more than just a building on a campus. We are the arts, and representing that for the culture, for the entire region from south of I-80 to Missouri to Iowa to Peoria and beyond. And that’s what we need to be,” Clow said.

“It’s important for our students to have that, it’s important for our audience to have that, and it’s how we can grow and become a bigger brand throughout the center portion of this state.”

The building is now known as The Goldfarb Center for Performing Arts, in honor of former Western President Al Goldfarb and his wife, Elaine. That naming announcement was made last week.

Clow said there are 55 naming opportunities within the building for operational spaces. 16 are already taken.

Soon, there will also be opportunities for people to sponsor seats in the auditorium. Clow said those will cost $250 a seat.

The money raised will be set aside for building maintenance.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.