NEW PALTZ — The School of Fine and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz has planned a week-long series of special arts events to coincide with the opening of the College’s new Fine Arts Building and the reopening after renovation of McKenna Theatre. “Homecoming for the Arts” will run October 10 through 14.

“Homecoming for the Arts marks a watershed in our history,” said Peter Alexander, dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts. “We believe that these many positive changes in the School of Fine and Performing Arts’ physical plant are a direct result of the quality of our programs and represent a vote of confidence in our future.”

In addition to the Fine Arts Building, the College is also celebrating the completion of three renovation projects. In early 1993, thanks to a generous contribution from Julien J. Studley, the 700-seat auditorium in Old Main Building was renovated; a year later, following extensive work, Parker Theatre was reopened; and in the summer of 1995, a refurbished McKenna Theatre was unveiled.

“Homecoming for the Arts” will give students, faculty, alumni, and Hudson Valley residents an opportunity to meet renowned artists and performers; attend special concerts, plays, and art exhibits; and enjoy various social events from receptions to tours of the new facilities.

“This is a cooperative effort of all the departments of the School of Fine and Performing Arts,” Alexander added. “Because of our efforts to do something in harmony, we are able to offer a lot of wonderful things to the campus and surrounding community.”

Homecoming for the Arts will begin October 10 with a concert sponsored by the College’s music department. The evening will feature vocal and instrumental music performed by alumni and faculty, beginning at 8 p.m. in McKenna Theatre.

The highlight of the week, scheduled for October 13, will be the Arts in America Now conference devoted to the “Lives of Artists,” featuring

keynote speaker Schuyler Chapin, commissioner of the Department of CulturalAffairs in New York City. Other notable speakers and panelists at the conference will include dancer Carolyn Brown formerly of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, noted artist Robert Blackburn, composer David Lang, playwright Robert Auletta, as well as many distinguished members of the College faculty.

In addition to the Friday events, the art history department has scheduled two films about Vincent van Gogh, “Vincent and Theo” and “Lust for Life,” on October 12. These films will be shown in Lecture Center 100 beginning at 7 p.m. on October 12. Introducing the evening’s presentation, Ann Morra, assistant curator of the department of film, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, will speak on “Hollywood Views: The Lives of Artists.”

On October 11, the art department has invited Arthur Danto, noted critic, philosopher, and author, to speak about “The Arts in American Culture” in Lecture Center 112 at 7 p.m. This lecture is sponsored by the Student Association and the Student Art Alliance. The theatre arts department will present “Machinal,” a powerful expressionist drama by playwright Sophie Treadwell, at Parker Theatre on October 11 through 14 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, October 15 at 2 p.m.

The week ends on October 14 with the closing reception of the Alumni Art 1995 exhibition from 2 to 4 p.m. Guided tours of the new Fine Arts building, scheduled to house sculpture, ceramics, woodworking, metalsmithing and printmaking classes, will be offered from 3 to 4 p.m.

Homecoming for the Arts is sponsored by the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Arts in America Now is partially funded through The College at New Paltz Foundation, Inc. For information call (845) 257-3860.