The Fort Ben Cultural Campus
Originally known as the Post Theatre, the building was constructed in 1929. Today, it is the only Fort Harrison building still being used for its original purpose - a gathering space for entertainment and performances. Since Arts for Lawrence began its stewardship in 2016, the theater has been fully renovated with new technology, including film capabilities, cosmetic upgrades, and a building addition.
Once the Fort Harrison communications building, the structure was relocated from its original site and moved onto the Fort Ben Cultural Campus. The building now houses a first-floor gallery, a lower-level ceramics studio, a second-floor art classroom, and a resident artist studio.
The amphitheater is the centerpiece of Arts for Lawrence’s festivals and concerts. Designed to mimic the historic bus stops at Fort Harrison with a hipped roof of copper patina metal, exposed wooden posts and beams, and red brick bases.
Initially, the Fort Harrison Service Club, the building provided leisure opportunities to enlisted men, including a combined military and
recreational library. The building is now home to Heartland Film.
The Musical Swings, designed by Daily Tous Les Jours of Montreal Canada, is an interactive installation that stimulates human connections. Imagined as a collective experience, the swings invite people of all ages and backgrounds to make music together. It’s an intuitive game, where cooperation between participants unlocks secret melodies, encouraging collaboration and active awareness of others.
Designed by Judy Byron & Brian Norris, the sidewalk is an interactive experience with sensors that activate military cadences, similar to those used at Fort Harrison when it was an active military base. Bugle calls play at designated times throughout the day. The calls were recorded by the U.S. Army National Guard 38th Infantry Division Band, who rehearsed in the Post Theatre from 2000 - 2015.
Discover Arts for Lawrence is a mobile app that uses VR and augmented reality to take you on a tour of the Cultural Campus. The tour includes information on art installations, schedules of upcoming events, and a scavenger hunt that has opportunities to win prizes and discounts for Arts for Lawrence programs.
Coming Spring 2023!
The Fort Ben Cultural Campus boasts many other pieces of public art. Select a piece below to learn more about the specific artwork and its creator(s).