Our Story

There is an innate creative passion in all of us which we ignite through inspiring, premier arts experiences.

Our History

Since opening in September 2004, the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center has become an integral part of the University’s vision and commitment to becoming a preeminent research university. It is the University’s leading presenter of world-class artistic programming, having commissioned over 40 new works in every conceivable genre.

As an academic space, the center enhances the scholarship, teaching, and practice of the performing and cinematic arts. As a community space, the center welcomes more than 100,000 patrons annually, including hundreds of K–12 students in education and related artistic programs. Guided by goals aligned with Notre Dame’s strategic plan, the center is where scholars, students, and community residents are building a home for the arts together.

Our Vision

We work collaboratively to elevate the greater good in society by establishing the University of Notre Dame as a leading voice in the arts.

Timeline

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Groundbreaking ceremony for Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts.

2001
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Fischoff National Chamber Music Association relocates to Notre Dame.

2002
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Endowment of the Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Directorship for the Performing Arts. John Haynes is executive director.

2003
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Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts opens.

2004
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The Chieftans and New York Philharmonic continue the string of opening season sold-out performances.

2005
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Itzhak Perlman calls the Leighton Concert Hall “the best on this continent.”

2006
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Dave Brubeck Quartet performs sold out concert with Notre Dame students. Anna M. Thompson is executive director.

2007
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Academic year-long examination Faust at Notre Dame anchored by performances and film series.

2008
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Ed Asner and John Heard headline L.A. Theatreworks’ The Great Tennessee Monkey Trials.

2009
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Center dedicates its first theater commission, RFK: Journey to Justice, to Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., who attends opening night.

2010
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Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra is first University ensemble to perform a commission.

2010
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Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez premiere Catholic pilgrimage film, The Way, to sold-out audiences.

2011
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The center co-presents Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s first concerts. The festival is professionally filmed for a documentary.

2012
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Browning Cinema transitions to DCP (digital cinema package), a critical technical upgrade as studios abandon 35mm film.

2013
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Inaugural Art+Soul of Notre Dame Gala raises the center’s national stature.

2014
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Wild Sound by Ensemble-in-Residence Third Coast Percussion hailed for innovative use of live and taped multimedia at commission world premiere.

2014
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Nathan Gunn sings Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a collaboration of more than 165 artists and administrators.

2015
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Ted Barron named executive director.

2016
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Notre Dame designates south campus as University’s new arts district. Sean Martin and Ricky Herbst appointed as Center’s new programming team.

2017
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New mission, vision, values, and strategic plan are completed

2018