About The Center
The purpose of The Center is to provide cultural and educational facilities and activities which will strengthen the culture and economy of the city of Bartlesville.
Art in Architecture
Opened in January of 1982, The Center was immediately recognized as one of the finest performing arts halls in the country.
The modern architectural design was the vision of William Wesley Peters, apprentice and protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as former chief architect of Taliesin West and Vice President of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The design of the building was created to mesh seamlessly with other remarkable examples of architecture found in Bartlesville, such as the famous Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's only skyscraper. The close proximity of Price Tower with The Center provides a stunning array of modern architecture, a surprising treasure for a city of only 35,000.
An acoustically superb performance hall that seats over 1,700 is the main focus of The Center and is considered to be one of the finest concert halls in the country. Also found within is the world’s largest cloisonné artwork, a mural that is 25-feet long which depicts a stylized northeastern Oklahoma countryside. The Center is a wonderful design from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and a must-see for any architecture fan.
The design of The Center emphasizes the use of sweeping curves, circles and ovals, as well as acute and obtuse angles. Right angles are avoided, creating a unique and inspiring flow throughout The Center. Frank Lloyd Wright's widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, chose most of the decor, adding a modern, elegant finish to the interior. Perhaps most notably, the remarkable crystalline light fixtures that are suspended like icicles from the ceiling in Community Hall.
The Center houses the Marie Foster Performing Arts Hall. A 1700 seat auditorium that is capable of hosting world-class productions. With outstanding acoustics, graceful modern design and features that are ideal for large-scale productions, the Marie Foster Performing Arts Hall is truly a jewel.
The 1700 seat Marie Foster Performing Arts Hall is an architectural masterpiece and an acoustic delight. Ransom Wilson, Conductor of the Solisti New York Orchestra said, "We've discovered one of the finest concert halls in this country."
The lower level Studio Theater seats up to 150 and can host smaller theatrical productions, conferences, receptions and banquets.
The Center has played host to an amazing array of events. In addition to world-renowned symphony performances and concert events, The Center's facilities can handle a broad range of events, including: ballet, stage productions, musicals, lectures, seminars, and business meetings of all sizes. The beautiful multi-functional facility is equipped to handle events as large as state conventions and as small as group meetings of fifteen.
The versatile meeting and community rooms can be utilized for conferences, trade shows, business meetings, weddings and receptions, reunions, fundraising and social events, and more. The balcony provides a unique backdrop for events from formal weddings to casual luncheons. Plus, the full commercial kitchen means that your event can be catered in many ways.