Weather Forecast

Empire Arts Executive Director Emily Burkland smiles after the official ribbon cutting at Studio E in the basement of Empire Arts Center Wednesday night during the new black box theatre's inaugural show by local artist Adam Kemp. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald

Empire Arts Center reveals Studio E

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Grand Forks,North Dakota 58203
Grand Forks Herald
(701) 780-1123 customer support
Empire Arts Center reveals Studio E
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

With black walls, black floor, a black ceiling and filled with art, the basement of the Empire Arts Center looked different Wednesday night.


And it will continue to look different as the Empire’s new evolving space, Studio E.

Over the past year, Empire staff worked to convert their basement into a black box theater, which is a simple, all-black space meant to be transformed for several types of events.

“It’s meant to be used as a flexible performance space,” said Emily Burkland, executive director of the Empire.

Studio E has already been used informally as rehearsal space and for receptions, but its first official event was the Kempire Pop Up Art Party, a one-night art exhibit of local artist Adam Kemp on Wednesday.

Kemp said Studio E was “perfect” for his art. “I rarely get to see my art like this. … It’s fun,” he said.

About 40 to 50 people were at the event Wednesday, and many wrote their ideas of what Studio E could be used for on poster paper outside the exhibit.

Some of the ideas written down included: knitting club, band practice and dinner theater.

Burkland said she is excited for all of the different ways Studio E can be used, adding that it lends itself to some of the Empire Theatre Company’s contemporary productions.

Upcoming events at Studio E include an art exhibit by Peter Stevenson Aug. 11-16 and the Empire Theatre Company’s production of “Doubt: A Parable” in October.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
(701) 780-1102