Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
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Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The center is the first complex of its kind in the United States to use science as an entry to the arts. Whitaker Center exhibits science, the performing arts, and an IMAX theater under one roof. The center encompasses a total of 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2), including the three main components, plus STAGE TWO, Discovery Lab classrooms, multi-purpose rooms, the AMP Grand Lobby and the Kunkel Gallery.
Whitaker Center Components
Select Medical IMAX Theater is a state of the art large-format cinema arts IMAX theater featuring modern educational films and new releases. It is the only IMAX theater in the central Pennsylvania region.
Harsco Science Center has three floors and features more than 240 fun and informative exhibits that explore physical science, natural science, life science, mathematics and technology. There are also special limited-engagement exhibits.
Sunoco Performance Theater showcases 696 seats within the Orchestra, Mezzanine, and Balcony levels. The theater's design features 14 theater boxes over those levels. Currently there are seven resident companies at the theater: Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Harrisburg Choral Society, Harrisburg Opera Association, Market Square Concerts, Susquehanna Chorale, Theatre Harrisburg and The Wednesday Club.
In September 1997, ground was broken on the corner of Third and Market Streets in the heart of downtown Harrisburg and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, a $52.7 million public-private partnership, was born.
The Whitaker Foundation and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund have contributed over $8 million to the center. Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is named in memory of the founder of AMP Incorporated, Uncas A. Whitaker and his wife Helen F. Whitaker, in recognition of these grants.
The National Science Foundation awarded the center a major grant in support of a permanent exhibit for the new Science Center. "Bodies In Motion: The Physics of Dance" explores the physics of human movement, especially dance, gymnastics and ice-skating. This is one of the flagship exhibits for the Science Center.
Mayor Stephen R. Reed, an integral part of this project from day one, has proudly referred to Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts as "Harrisburg's Crown Jewel".
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