When the University of South Carolina's Koger Center for the Arts opened its doors on January 14, 1989, a star was born to usher in a new era for the performing arts in South Carolina. Since its inception as the very first modern arts center of its kind in the state, the Koger Center for the Arts has hosted major national and international touring artists, strengthening the region's ability to attract acclaimed productions and luminaries from around the globe.
The Koger Center demonstrates the cooperative spirit in Columbia. Its construction is the product of a shared dream and a shared labor of love for many in the community; a combined effort with both public and private entities contributing to make this dream a reality. From the very beginning, the University made it clear that local community needs would be addressed by establishing a mission of inclusion to support the programming and technical needs of local arts organizations. Through this communal approach, the Koger Center for the Arts has enhanced the surrounding community by increasing public awareness and understanding of the performing arts.
The 100,000 square-foot, contemporary architectural design of the facility features a 2,256-seat proscenium theater equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and superior sight lines. No seat is further than 100 feet from the stage. The lobby, which provides extensive space for exhibits and intermission crowds, is comprised of high, lofty areas, bright colors, and a blue-green glass facade. As this grand structure rose from the ground, the result changed the cultural landscape of the South Carolina Midlands and continues to inspire diverse audiences to discover the special magic and sheer joy made possible through live performance.