Lafayette’s Ahart Family Arts Plaza has received a 2012 Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Commercial Real Estate Development (CRED) Award.
Mitchell Wein, vice president of finance and administration, accepted the award on behalf of President Daniel Weiss. The presentation was made by Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. at the chamber’s real estate outlook event April 19 before an audience of several hundred at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Fogelsville, Pa.
The awards, which this year focus on “Arts in the Valley,” honor individuals and businesses for leadership in the economic and community development of the Lehigh Valley through real estate investment.
Located between the Williams Visual Arts Building and the future home of Lafayette’s theater program (the former Case’s Tire) on North Third Street, the open-air arts plaza is part of the College’s new Williams Arts Campus. The campus will also serve as the home for Lafayette’s film and media studies program and will include an experimental black box theater, state-of-the-art film theater, sound stage, costume and scene shop, rehearsal studio, and high-tech media and teaching lab.
The plaza was recently renamed in honor of Edward W. Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, and Cathy Ahart in recognition of their commitment to the development of the Williams Arts Campus and in tribute to the family’s devotion to Lafayette College over several decades.
Last year, the plaza was one of several architectural projects selected to represent the United States in the prestigious Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, which showcases some of the world’s most creative and innovative examples of performance and theater design. The College Theater program held the plaza’s first outdoor performance last year, a staging of Alfred Jarry’s absurdist play Ubu Roi, igniting the night sky with an array of colorful lights, music, and costumes.
Weiss previously received the Community Partner Award (2006) and Community Development Award (2011) from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Service Award (2007) from the Two Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce.