The mission of Zoellner Arts Center is to infuse the arts into the life of Lehigh University and the greater Lehigh Valley community by presenting high-quality multi-disciplinary programs, by fostering life-long patronage of the arts, and by integrating our educational resources to enhance our human experience.
Did You Know?
We are a home: The center opened in 1997 as the home to the Lehigh University Music Department, the Department of Theatre, the Art Galleries and the Guest Artist Series, all of which share the same professional technical, marketing and administrative staff, venues and equipment.
We are versatile: The building, designed by Philadelphia architects Dagit Saylor, houses three theatres: the 1,000-seat proscenium Baker Hall, the 300-seat Diamond Theater, a 125-seat black box theatre, as well as a two-story art gallery, state-of-the-art recording studio, and several large classrooms.
We have dramatic impact: In a recent season/academic year, the center held 242 events, including over 350 artists from 10 countries performing in Baker Hall, and more than 50 campus and community events, lectures, business meetings, convocations, recitals, concerts, conventions, and more. In total, the center provided arts engagement and communal space to over 55,000 people in attendance from 11 states.
We are renowned: Our distinguished Guest Artist Series has presented a wide array of multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural performers, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, John Lithgow, Cirque Eloize, Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Moscow Festival Ballet, Tony Bennett, The Illusionists, Postmodern Jukebox, Momix and Lightwire Theater.
We are a strong community partner: Some of our annual events include longstanding Bethlehem community relationships with the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and Touchstone Theater’s Young Playwrights Festival. Campus events presented at the center have included lectures with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Janet Reno, Sally Ride, Salman Rushdie, Colson Whitehead and Benazir Bhutto.
We represent Lehigh University worldwide: The center has also created and commissioned works from professional, world-renowned artists in collaboration with our resident faculty, that are performed worldwide, carrying the name of Lehigh University wherever they are restaged.
We are arts education: We provide a welcoming environment for school children to experience live arts. In our 21 years, we have served over 100 schools and community groups, and more than 75,000 children in the surrounding counties.
We support arts accessibility: Our Guest Artist Series is in its fourth year of presenting a sensory-friendly relaxed performance for families with children with sensory-related challenges. These shows extend into partnerships with organizations such as the Easter Seals of the Lehigh Valley, Mikayla's Voice, Crayola, VIA and the Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation.