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College Q&A: Welder Center helps Victoria College enhance community's quality of life

By By Eric Jensen
Aug. 10, 2013 at 3:10 a.m.

Eric Jensen

I understand Victoria College owns the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. How is it used and is it available for public use?

The Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts, 214 N. Main St. in downtown Victoria, provides a broad range of programming each season, including Theater, dance, music, family-friendly programming and many other special events.

The 476-seat, wheelchair-accessible performance hall includes dressing rooms, a green room and lighting and sound equipment. The Welder Center's lobby has been used for meetings, social events and parties. Amenities include a concession bar, comfortable seating, a board room and gallery space. A rehearsal hall is also available for use.

In June 2012, Victoria College purchased the Welder Center from the nonprofit group Victoria Performing Arts Center for $35,000. After the purchase, VC took over day-to-day operations, including utilities and rentals. Theatre Victoria is the Welder Center's resident company.

Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College's director of cultural affairs, was named as director of the Welder Center in 2012. She also oversees the Museum of the Coastal Bend on the Victoria College Main Campus. She is assisted at the Welder Center by Ben Hernandez, who works as a part-time office coordinator.

"Victoria College operates the Welder Center according to its founding mission of presenting performing arts events, with the added benefit of the center being able to accommodate some VC lectures, graduations, ceremonies and workshops," Prudhomme said. "Immediately after acquisition, we began enhancement projects designed to expand the Welder Center's audience. These projects include installation of an acoustical ceiling on stage, audio-visual equipment to accommodate business presentations, and film presentation equipment."

Prudhomme said VC's guiding strategic mission includes providing educational activities and events that enhance the community's quality of life, "and operation of the Welder Center certainly falls within this mission."

Victoria College has used the Welder Center as a venue for its Convocation gatherings Lyceum lectures, Stormont lectures, graduations and induction ceremonies.

For ticket, rental and event information, call 361-485-8540 or visit WelderCenter.org.

Do you have a question about Victoria College? Contact Eric Jensen, VC Marketing and Communications Specialist, at 361-485-6835 or Eric.Jensen@VictoriaCollege.edu.

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