Artistic Endeavors That Educate, Engage, Enrich, & Transform

Legendary performer Ray Charles set the bar high when he opened the Germantown Performing Arts Center (GPAC) in 1994. Defining the facility as a place where excellence is the norm, Ray predicted the world would come to perform there.

Time has proven Ray’s assessment to be as accurate as his musical skills are phenomenal. Currently in its 24th season, GPAC has presented world-renowned performing artists of every genre, year-round educational activities for all ages, rotating visual art exhibits, and many community events welcoming over 100,000 visitors annually. Season after season, GPAC has applauded an array of artists with extraordinary talents and showcased the broadest range of performances and art forms.

Located in the heart of Shelby County, the GPAC theater is an acoustically perfect, 864-seat venue featuring a sprung pine stage, an intimate black box theatre, an elegant green room, eight spacious dressing rooms, and a spacious lobby for entertaining and assembling. GPAC serves the greater metro Memphis area of over a million people and is accessible to all members of the community.

Enriching the Community

GPAC strives to enrich the community through educational programs and presentations that increase access and appreciation for the arts. A wide variety of programs, including Peanut Butter & Jam, ArtSavvy, GPAC Youth Symphony Program, ballet classes, school matinees and summer camps, provide high quality arts experiences and hands on training to children all the way to adults. Additionally, GPAC is committed to extending its reach through free artist residencies and master classes in area schools, community centers, and universities.

Art exhibits in the GPAC Lobby Gallery celebrate the visual arts by exhibiting a diverse collection of artwork by emerging and professional artists from around the region. The Lobby Gallery is free and open to the public during normal business hours and on days of performances.

A Venue For the Future

Governed by a 19-member Board, GPAC has been professionally managed for the past five years by Executive Director Paul Chandler. Under Chandler’s strong leadership supported by a committed staff, GPAC has attracted nationally and internationally acclaimed artists performing across numerous artistic genres that serve what is arguably the most diverse constituency in Shelby County. Approximately 240 art-related events are scheduled between September 2018 and June 2019.

Organizations that presented at GPAC during the 2018-19 season will include Opera Memphis, New Ballet Ensemble, IRIS Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Collage Dance Collective, Germantown Symphony Orchestra, GPAC Youth Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Ballet Theater, Madonna Learning Circle, and others.

The latest buzz of excitement surrounding the facility is the “Grow the Grove” campaign, an initiative to create The Grove at GPAC. This unique outdoor venue will entertain and educate in a comfortable, beautiful, inviting, and accessible space. Under a canopy of trees, guests will experience the power of the arts to connect and inspire.

Benefitting from the infrastructure of a professional organization that possesses a clear direction, strong financial health, professional staff and a dedicated board of directors, GPAC is on track to fulfill its mission of educating, engaging, enriching, and transforming the arts community in Memphis.