Norton Center for the Arts

Built: 1973
Renovated: 1994 and again in 2010
Named for Jane Morton Norton, former Centre trustee and patron of the arts
Address: 300 South College Street, Danville, Ky. 40422
Academic Facility: The Norton Center for the Arts, Grant Hall, Newlin Hall, Weisiger Theatre, Ex Astris, The Haven Gillespie Fountain and Plaza


Formerly known as the Regional Arts Center, the Norton Center for the Arts was renamed in 1982. The Norton Center for the Arts is an internationally recognized performing arts center with state of the art facilities.

Grant Hall is home to classrooms, studios, and faculty offices for the departments of dramatic arts and music. Grant includes recital halls, playing rooms, well-lit hardwood acting studios, and a versatile black box theatre for student productions.

The 85,000 square-foot complex was designed by architect William Wesley Peters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The Center hosts a world-class performing arts series and serves as a focal point for the College’s academic programs in dramatic arts and music.

The Center’s two theaters have drawn consistent praise from performers and audiences alike. Centre College is often the place where important debates and political forums occur. In 2000, the College was the home of the sole vice-presidental debate between Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney.

Newlin Hall, a 1,500-seat concert hall, is known to have one of the finest acoustical designs in the country. Seating: orchestra 250; grand tier 1,180.

The versatile Weisiger Theatre, a 360-seat theater in the round, accommodates a wide variety of performances. The Grand Foyer serves as an exhibition space for the College.

Ex Astris (1978). The 14-foot, brass-plated sculpture by Louisville artist Tom Lear is located at the main entrance to the Newlin Hall foyer of the Norton Center for the Arts. Installed in 1978, the work was provided by an anonymous gift to Centre for its execution. The name means “from the stars.”

The Haven Gillespie Fountain and Plaza was a gift made possible by Audrey R. Gillespie in memory of James Haven Gillespie 1888-1975 and his son Haven Lamont Gillespie 1910-1990.