Connect with James Madison University and learn more about how our people and programs are making positive change in the world
Consider this your invitation to
Be the Change.
Known as the premier performing arts venue in the Shenandoah Valley, the Forbes Center is providing Madison students with a critical component of their education — the audience, which is flocking to five remarkable performance venues — a concert hall, recital hall, mainstage theater, dance theater and studio theater.
In 2003, President Linwood H. Rose ('12H) declared a "Time for the Arts" would be dawning in Madison's immediate future. In 2005, JMU's arts programs coalesced into the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Later, when the doors opened in 2010 after a successful fundraising campaign, the $91.5 million Forbes Center for the Performing Arts literally provided a world-class stage for JMU's already vibrant and renowned performing arts programs.
Today the richness and creativity the arts bring to JMU — through performances, exhibitions, master classes, cultural opportunities, cross-curricular collaborations and more — are highly visible and celebrated. More than 60,000 arts patrons have partaken of almost 600 plays, concerts, recitals and dances performed and produced by JMU students, professors and guest artists at the Forbes Center. Another 11,000 people have experienced the magnificence of the center through tours, conferences, conventions and student recruitment visits.
The benefits: Students now perfect their art and their craft in performance conditions that rival those they might encounter as professional artists and technicians later in their careers. The latest lighting and sound technology and near-perfect acoustical conditions are also attracting top professors, students and guest artists to JMU. In short, Madison's reputation in the arts world is soaring.