School of the Arts

Grant and generous gift jumpstart theater renovations

recital hallRecital Hall stage

The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts has been awarded a $150,000 matching grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County to help upgrade Recital Hall and the Upstage Theater in Northside Hall. Champion of the arts and philanthropist Ernestine M. Raclin has generously pledged her support for the project with a gift of $100,000. The much needed theatre renovations will help the school better serve students and enhance the cultural experiences for local residents who attend dozens of campus performances each year.

Payable in $50,000 installments over three years, this grant is one of the largest foundation gifts ever received by the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts and must be matched with private donations. When completed, the renovations will provide professional quality facilities for the theatre, dance and music programs at IU South Bend.

IU South Bend has committed $150,000 to the project and must raise $150,000 in private donations. Chancellor Una Mae Reck also awarded an additional $36,000 to be used towards seating in Recital Hall. The renovation project is estimated to cost $524,000 in total.

The enhancements at the Upstage Theater will include new lighting, sound, seating, and flooring. The Upstage Theater seats about 100 people and is a traditional black box theatrical venue. Renovations at Recital Hall will include a new stage and foyer entrance, new seats, lighting and audio system, along with the installation of acoustical material to improve the sound in the hall. Recital Hall seats about 280 people and will become the home of the Euclid Quartet, IU South Bend’s resident string quartet.

Ernestine M. Raclin is a staunch supporter and volunteer on a number of boards that work for the arts and cultural diversity, as well as better housing and education. She is a director emeritus for the board of the South Bend Symphony, which was founded in 1933 by her mother, Ella Morris. Mrs. Raclin has also served her community in fundraising capacities for organizations like Hospice, United Way of St. Joseph County, and Logan Center, to name a few. In 2001, she received the Henry A. Rosso Medal for lifetime achievement in ethical fundraising from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.