314: Ripon College Project Space, a new multi-use venue in downtown Ripon, launched September 4. The space is located at 314 Watson Street in a reclaimed historic building beautifully restored after a devastating December 2013 fire. The fire destroyed one building, severely damaged two others, and displaced many residents.
The Watson Street location was intentionally chosen to highlight the long-standing and warm town-gown relationship between Ripon College and the City of Ripon.
“Ripon College wants a vibrant downtown, the City of Ripon and downtown need a vibrant Ripon College. It’s a two-way street,” said Dr. Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “We believe strongly in our community and owe a debt of gratitude to Ripon’s first responders who helped save Watson Street.”
The space is envisioned as a multi-use venue for art exhibits, concerts, poetry readings, lectures, performances, speakers, classes, community events and more. 314: Ripon College Project Space was made possible with support from the Kemper Foundation. The goal behind the grant was fostering community relations.
314 is equipped with a sound system, public address system, projector, electronic keyboard, movable stage, variable lighting, tables, chairs and WIFI. The entrance and restroom are wheelchair accessible.
Coordinators for the project space are Ripon College Associate Professor of Art, Rafael Francisco Salas; Assistant Professor of Art, Travis Nygard; and Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, John Hughes.
Three Ripon College students have been hired to manage the space and will gain valuable life skills in event planning and gallery coordinating. They are: Alexandria Wilber ’17 of Bonduel, Wisconsin; JaneMarie Erickson ’16 of Redgranite, Wisconsin; and Tara Schultz ’17 of Ripon, Wisconsin.
More about upcoming events or submitting an idea for an event is available on the website ripon.edu/314. g