GPAC ranked among 25 most amazing university performing arts centers


UNC Pembroke’s Givens Performing Arts Center was recognized recently as one of the top university performing arts centers in the nation. BestValueSchools ranked GPAC 16th on its list of the top 25 “most amazing” university performing arts centers. 


The top 25 performing arts centers were chosen “for their enduring commitment to arts education as well as their desire to provide exceptional arts programming to the public at the highest levels.”

The 1,600-seat GPAC is home to the Broadway and More and the On Stage for Youth series. It also serves as a main venue for UNC Pembroke’s theatre, dance and music departments. GPAC hosted more than 125 events in 2013-14, including a number of community events and a summer theatre camp for children.

Patricia Fields, executive director of GPAC, says, “We have always known that GPAC is a true treasure for UNCP and our community. However, to receive national recognition for the work that we do here is wonderful. 

“Before each show, I always mention that the things that we do at Givens would not be possible without the support of our donors, sponsors and patrons,” Fields continued. “This honor is another example of how the dedication of those folks allows this facility to flourish and shine. While this distinction was totally unexpected, we will proudly embrace this opportunity to promote our facility, our university and our community to the surrounding regions and throughout the state.” 

BestValueSchools wrote that the chosen performing arts centers were “not only for the benefit of those studying the arts but also as a way to help enrich the community of which they’re a part.”

Nearing its 40th year of service, GPAC is host to a number of community events, including the annual Lumbee Homecoming programs, local high school graduation ceremonies and the annual Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative membership meeting. It also hosts the River People Music & Cultural Festival, which spotlights local Native American culture and talent, and G-Camp, a summer children’s theatre camp.

The 2014-15 season will be announced soon. For more information, visit  To see the complete list, visit