SOAC + School of Art & Communication

SOAC Places

The School of Arts and Communication is housed in three facilities - Aida Ingram Hall, Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Mary Baker Russell Music Center.

Ingram Hall

Ingram Hall is home to the Department of Art & Design, Department of Communication & Theatre and the office of the Dean. Ingram hosts a variety of resources including a communication computer lab, a digital photography/graphic design lab, and studio art classrooms for painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography and printmaking. Ingram hall has a floor area of 33,100 square feet, all located on one level.

The University Gallery 

Ingram is the home of the University Gallery, which houses six major shows and exhibitions throughout the year. The University Gallery has 118 feet of usable wall space, the gallery has hosted exhibitions by regional and nationally recognized artists. All gallery exhibitions are free to the public. View the current shows in the Link to University Gallery page.

The Elliot Press 

pressThe Elliott Press is a small private press located in Ingram Hall. The Press provides a hands-on workshop for students in the Publishing & Printing Arts program. The Elliott Press features two platen letterpresses from the early 1900s and a Vandercook proof press from 1940 and houses more than 300 different drawers of type, each offering unique design possibilities. In addition to a rich variety of fonts, book arts students will find intricately carved ornaments, stamps depicting everything from dental charts to 1920s roadsters, and an entire set of ancient medical symbols. Each year the Book Club of Washington recognizes outstanding achievement at the Elliott Press through the Robert D. Monroe Award. Recipients are guests of honor at the Club's annual banquet and receive a generous cash gift as well.

Lecture Hall

Ingram houses a newly updated 80-seat multimedia lecture hall, which is utilized by several departments across the University. 

Wekell Gallery

Wekell Gallery, can be found among the maze of Ingram halls. Wekell was once the primary gallery space for student and faculty work; it is now used for class work and as a teaching space.

The ceramics studio

The ceramics studio is equipped with 14 electric potters wheels, three kick wheels, glaze pantries, spray booth, pug mill, wedging tables and clay storage area. Ceramics firing capabilities are numerous and varied including RAKU, a Japanese low-fire, cone six oxidation, cone ten reduction, cone ten crystals and a soda kiln. 

Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Originally constructed in 1952, Eastvold Hall is 45,900 square feet in size.  Eastvold Hall is currently under restoration thanks to a $10 million bequest from the university's most generous benefactress, Karen Hille Phillips, in addition to gifts from many other donors. Eastvold houses various faculty offices, music practice rooms, theatre support facilities and two large classrooms. Planning for restoration and expansion of the building began in 1996, and in 2005 the architectural firm o NBBJ was engaged to develop a conceptual design. Renovation takes place in two phases. Phase I, which began in summer 2010 was completed fall 2011. Construction for Phase II will begin summer 2012, and will be completed in 2013. Renderings are included below and in the above gallery.

Phase I 

Studio Theater 

studio theaterThis black box theater is small and minimalist with mobile seating. Unlike a traditional arrangement, a black box allows for the audience to surround the action on two, three or four sides. The theater boasts top-of-the-line technology with newly installed lighting system, which includes more fixtures, state-of-the-art control boards and LED lights to give color to the backdrop. A sliding glass door in front of the control room and a newly constructed scene shop is located between the studio theater and the main stage. All windows have blackout shades. Construction of the Studio Theater was completed in Fall 2011.

  • The Scene Shop is now located on the main floor, which allows for safer and faster set design
  • Rose window rebuilt, cleaned and reinstalled
  • Exterior completely updated (cleaned bricks, new copper roof)

Phase II

Eastvold Auditorium 

Eastvold Auditorium seats 1100 and is the home of PLU Theatre. The auditorium includes a generously sized stage, an orchestra pit andphase II traps. Eastvold hosts all Mainstage productions as well as a range of smaller productions throughout the year. In addition, the facility is used by student organizations for the annual "Night of Musical Theatre", several Alpha Psi Omega productions, and external events. Eastvold Auditorium also houses the scene and costume shops for theatre productions.

  • About 835 new seats, all with better views of the stage
  • Ness Family Chapel restoration (formerly Tower Chapel)
  • Elevator access to all floors
  • Art gallery in the main lobby
  • Second floor lobby and staircase to be used for the Chapel and Auditorium
  • New chapel benches from campus fir trees
  • Swipe card entrance
  • Fir veneer in auditorium (from campus)
* Naming opportunities are still available for the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Mary Baker Russell Music Center

Mary Baker Russell Music Center is the home of our Department of Music with state-of-the-art practice and performance facilities.

lagerquistLagerquist Concert Hall

The acoustically impressive and well-known Lagerquist Concert Hall houses the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ, the largest University-based organ on the West Coast.

The hall seats fewer than 550, but the stage is sized for a full orchestra or for chorus with a chamber orchestra. The design is a traditional shoebox hall with the floor plane broken up by side arms and a raised parterre. Orchestra risers on the stage ensure good sightlines into the heart of the orchestra from anywhere in the audience and help communication on stage. The front parts of the risers are easily moved to accommodate chamber performances and jazz set-ups; the rear of the risers are demountable in case a flat floor set-up is ever desired, but to date this has not been required.

The ceiling is high (50 feet) to ensure ample reverberation for the chorus, orchestra, and a magnificent Fritts pipe organ. Lower side walls are undulating wood paneling with inset seating niches. The upper walls of the room are painted block, with a mixture of split-face and honed-face block creating a beautiful pattern as well as high-frequency diffusion. Deep structural masonry pilasters provide low-frequency diffusion and allow the structural wall to double as the finished interior wall. Velour banners travel vertically between the pilasters to reduce reverberation for jazz and recital programs.

Because of noise from a nearby air force base, the hall has a pitched, shingle roof over the concrete ceiling slab, creating a deep airspace.

The room is most successful for its core uses – chorus, orchestra, and organ. It remains a fine recital space as well, with the addition of a low, rolling recital screen behind the performers.


mbrThe outdoor Amphitheater is the perfect location for outside concerts. Located outside MBR, it offers tiered seating with grass and concrete. It is a popular location for both lectures and relaxation. During the summer it hosts the popular "Jazz Under the Stars" summer concert series co-sponsored by KPLU. Community members look forward to the good music, picnicking and warm weather at these weekly events.