Lehman Center for the Performing Arts concert hall ropens

Eva Bornstein (front, 3rd from l); Dr. Daniel Lemons (front, c), Lehman College president and Borough President Diaz (front, 3rd from r) joined elected officials and education leaders in cutting the ribbon for Lehman Center.
Photo by Jewel Webber

The long awaited grand reopening of the Bronx’s largest entertainment venue was music to everyone’s ears.

On Thursday, September 19, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts commemorated its 40th season with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of its major $15.4 million renovation project.

The extensive refurbishment project commenced in November 2017 and included 5,400 square feet of enlarged space for Lehman Center, a refigured main entrance with new Americans with Disabilities Act ramps, a redesigned box office encased in a glass façade and new restrooms and administrative offices on its first and mezzanine floors.

The renovation’s first phase began in fall 2018 and emphasized upgrading the lobby to accommodate intermission crowds.

The Concert Hall’s renovation included new seating and carpeted aisles installations, refinished floors in the administrative offices and an elevator accessible balcony.

Separate heating and cooling systems were added to the center allowing its main concert hall to maintain energy saving temperatures when its not in use.

Funding for the project was provided by Governor Cuomo’s Office; NYS Legislature; the City Council’s Bronx delegation and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.’s Office.

Additional funding for the project is being raised with the ‘Take Your Seat’ fundraising campaign which allows participants an opportunity to purchase a tax-deductible seat in their name or a loved one.

Diaz, a Lehman College graduate who allocated $850,000 to the project, said during the ceremonial grand reopening that he was thankful for the affordable education that he received at the college and said that the work that Lehman does is important in spreading the word about the borough.

“The new expansion of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts ensures that the Bronx remains a prime destination for artists to perform,” stated Diaz.

He encouraged Bronxites and New Yorkers to continue supporting Lehman Center and its talented artists by attending their world class performances and events.

“During this milestone year, Lehman Center proudly welcomes audiences and community members to the top entertainment destination in the Bronx which is now better than ever,” expressed Eva Bornstein, Lehman Center executive director.

She added that the center’s improvements will ensure comfort and convenience for all attendees.

With 2,278 seats, Lehman Center, located on Lehman College’s campus, is the borough’s largest entertainment venue serving over 200,000 audience members each season.

The center opened its doors in 1980 with a mission to provide Bronxites and others with access to affordable, culturally diverse performances.
Its upcoming star-studded 2019-2020 season will include live performances by The Eddie Palmieri Afro Caribbean Orchestra & The Michel Camilo Trio, Yolandita Monge, José ‘El Canario’ Alberto with Don & Peter Perignon, La Sonora Ponceña, Yolanda Rivera, Celia Cruz – The Musical, Willie Colon & Orchestra, The Musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Cirque Mei from China, The Nutcracker, Forever Freestyle 14, Stephanie Mills & Howard Hewitt and La India.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lehmancenter.org/.

An artist rendering of the renovated Lehman Center for the Performing Arts.
Photo courtesy of Lehman Center for the Performing Arts

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