COUNT BASIE THEATRE EXPANSION PROJECT
The Count Basie Center for the Arts enters its 93rd year in
banner fashion, with a heralded expansion well underway to
transform the historic theatre into a block-long center for the
performing arts. On the facility’s west side, steel has risen and
the nonprofit organization’s Jay and Linda Grunin Arts and
Education Building is taking shape. Also set for the west side
is the Basie Center’s second venue, details of which will be
revealed later in the year.
On the east side of the Basie campus, cement columns have
been poured, creating the entranceway to what will become
the facility’s public arts plaza. Fronted by the Stillwell-Larkin
Pavilion, the public plaza will be bathed in light from the glass
wall of the historic theatre’s new, expanded lobby. The Basie
Center expansion will also create barrier-free experiences for all
patrons, update restroom and concessions facilities, upgrade
the theater’s HVAC systems and more.
In 2018, the Basie organization lifted the name of William J.
“Count” Basie to represent all that the expanded facility would
stand for, including its heralded performing arts academy, its
new education and rehearsal spaces, the Basie’s Monmouth
Conservatory, its dual venues and more. In October, it was
announced that Hackensack Meridian Health had made an
investment in the Basie Center vision, rebranding the center’s
historic hall as Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, and
punctuating the connection between the arts and well-being.
For more information on the Basie expansion, upcoming
events and the Center’s education offerings, visit thebasie.org.