This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Wolfe Center's grand opening, a world class venue for art galleries, performances, classes, alumni events and more.

A decade of the Wolfe Center for the Arts, in photos

With its stunning, eye-catching design, the Wolfe Center for the Arts is its own statement piece on the campus of Bowling Green State University. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the building's grand opening, and for the past decade, the Wolfe Center has served as a world class venue for art galleries, performances, classes, alumni events and more.

Photos highlight 10 years of how the Wolfe Center for the Arts has nurtured the University's commitment to a stronger, more vibrant and dynamic community through fostering a love of the arts for students, alumni and the community.

BGSU broke ground on the distinctive 100,000 square-foot Wolfe Center for the Arts in 2009. The Wolfe Center for the Arts is part of the BGSU Arts Corridor, located between the Fine Arts Building and the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The much-anticipated $40 million project was the first American project designed and completed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta. The firm’s international portfolio includes the Oslo Opera House, the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the new cultural center for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Snøhetta's creative team also worked on the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York City.

The Donnell Theatre, which seats over 400, is situated at the heart of the Wolfe Center and can be used for a wide range of performances.

Incorporating fixed seating, a full stage house and an orchestra pit, the Donnell Theatre is designed in the style of the Broadway halls of New York and London, with contemporary functionality, including an adjustable proscenium and tunable acoustics.

Throughout the past decade, alumni frequently return to the Wolfe Center to engage with current students. In this photo, alumni Jay and Chrissy Ellison of ShadowCast Pictures donated the camera to the Department of Theatre and Film and offered a workshop on how to use it. (Photo credit: Stephen Crompton)

Eva Marie Saint '46, '82 (Hon.) receives the BGSU Lifetime Achievement Award at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on April 7, 2018.

A student practices in a dance studio in the landmark, sunlit Wolfe Center.

The Wolfe Center provides a space for collaborative work and study between all the fine and performing arts. A student studies between classes in a common space inside the Wolfe Center. The open design encourages the collaboration between various interests.

In addition to the Donnell Theatre, the arts complex also houses an actor’s theatre, choral music hall, classrooms, scene shop, costume shop and rehearsal rooms. Here, students work on sets for a performance.

Students in a digital arts class learn in one of the Wolfe Center's classrooms. The facility includes the offices for the Department of Theatre and Film, classrooms, a 400-seat black box actor’s theatre, sound stage and production support areas, electronic recording studio, student technology center and collaborative vocal music, school of art and dance studios.

The concrete staircase, which creates a strong presence in the space, was also designed to provide seating for lectures or performances.

A statement inside and out, the exterior of the Wolfe Center showcases a dramatic lighting effect for a special event.

The Wolfe Center offers an environment conducive to creativity and synergistic partnerships. In addition to being a place for students and faculty to learn and work on theatrical, dance, musical, film and digital arts productions, the center offers the community an exceptional venue for a wide range of performances.


Designed by the renowned architectural firm Snøhetta, based in Oslo, Norway, the Wolfe Center for the Arts features an abundance of natural light and open, welcoming public areas and functional work areas. The architects found their inspiration in the smooth planes of the northwest Ohio landscape, with its far horizons and big sky, and the Wolfe Center was Snøhetta’s first project to be completed in the United States.

As a counterpoint to the gently angled walls of the building, a tall, vertical “fly tower” above the 400-seat Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre allows the use of more extensive scenery and backdrops than in other campus theaters. Beyond this important functionality, the tower serves as a striking visual symbol of the collaborative arts on campus.

One of the most distinctive buildings on Bowling Green State University’s campus is also one of its greenest. The Wolfe Center for the Arts was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver status by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. 

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 09/17/2021 08:37AM