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Pace University Announces Launch of Sands College Of Performing Arts

In a major announcement, BCW Member Pace University’s board of trustees has voted to launch the Sands College of Performing Arts this fall. The college, which will commence with the 2023–2024 academic year, is named in recognition of a $25 million gift from Pamela and Rob Sands, J.D. ’84, and becomes the seventh school and college within Pace University.

The Sands College of Performing Arts will build on the global reputation of one of Pace University’s flagship programs, which includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in acting, directing, musical theater, commercial dance, production and design for stage and screen, and stage management. The college will draw upon the vast creative resources of New York City to cultivate the talent of a new generation of diverse performing artists.

“The creation of the College and the transformation of One Pace Plaza will cement Pace’s place in the downtown arts scene—and Pace’s reputation as a leading performing arts school,” said Rob Sands, J.D. ’84, chair of Pace’s Board of Trustees and board chair of Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 beer, wine, and spirits company.

“The Sands College of Performing Arts will be a path-setting performing arts college for the 21st century,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “Our performing arts students, like all Pace students, are talented, ambitious leaders—who have amazing careers. Now, thanks to the generosity of Rob and Pamela Sands, their opportunities will expand, and these remarkable programs will get the attention they deserve.”

This announcement comes as Pace is in the process of transforming One Pace Plaza, its flagship home in lower Manhattan, to include a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center with three new venues—a 450-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat flexible theater, and a 99-seat black box theater—supported by scene and costume shops, dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, green rooms, and public spaces, and complemented by dance studios.

The Sands donation is part of a larger campaign for the transformation of Pace’s lower Manhattan campus that includes private donors, significant investments from Pace, and $30 million in support from New York State and the federal government. The start of this phase of work on One Pace Plaza will coincide with the completion of a new building at 15 Beekman, which is slated to open in Fall 2023.

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