John and Alice Butler Hall
The University's principal performance venue, John and Alice Butler Hall, is an intimate, breathtaking space that can comfortably accommodate close to 1,000 patrons in performances by University performing arts groups as well as local, regional, and national touring troupes in music, dance, and drama.
The warm, earth-tone color palette that is continued in the hall underscores the warm, friendly welcome one receives from design elements upon entering the Center through the A.Y. McDonald Lobby. Audiences and performers or speakers will be able to interact with one another since the distance from the lip of the stage to the top row of the balcony is just less than ninety feet. View the seating chart here.
The Main Hall comes with all the archetypal accoutrements, from a large stage to accommodate a 100-piece orchestra, to the orchestra pit, fly loft, scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms, green lounge, performance equipment, and prop storage. The audience seating is comprised of numerous vineyard' seating platforms, balcony tiers, and boxes, designed to afford uncompromised views and acoustics for every seat in the house, and to be able to scale the hall from the smallest to the largest performance. Every consideration has been given to the Main Hall to ensure that any level or nature of performance is accommodated, with particular attention to acoustics, lighting, rigging and - importantly - patron comfort.
The Babka Theatre is a 200 seat "black box" theatre that provides exceptional space for drama and dance, and can also function as a classroom and lecture hall. The only part of the Center that departs from its earth-toned color palette, this space has black walls, floors, exposed catwalks, and ceiling as well as black velour curtaining.
This space provides extremely versatile, first-class instructional space for a nascent drama program. A set/scene shop, costume shop, and dressing rooms provide the essential backstage support that will create the opportunity to accelerate the drama program's growth and maturation.
The theatre also provides instructional and rehearsal space for an evolving dance program. Already in place is a mirror wall and balance bars. Perhaps, most importantly, a sprung floor was installed that reduces the possibility of injury to dancers upon which a Marley dance floor can be rolled out for rehearsal and performances.
The space also can function as a venue for small guest lectures and as a classroom. "Black box" theatres general do not have windows while the Babka Theatre has five windows that can be left uncurtained for classes and guest lectures. A ring gallery offers expanded seating space and back-of-house support for sound and lighting in this important venue.
The Cyber Café’s Knapp Stage is a popular place for guest artists, student “open-mic” performances, guest speakers, and concerts during lunch, dinner, and evening hours and is often used for pre-show functions prior to mainstage events in Butler Hall.
Straatmeyer Rehearsal Room
The space also can function as a venue for small guest lectures and as a classroom. "Black box" theatres general do not have windows while the Babka Theatre has five windows that can be left uncurtained for classes and guest lectures.
Aitchison-Welch Choral Rehearsal Room
The Aitchison-Welch Choral Rehearsal Room is located along Main Street near the North Campus entrance. Named to honor iconic English faculty member Anna Aitchion and former UD President Dale Welch and his spouse, Lucille Aitchison Welch, ’23, this room, with a tiered flood, can accommodate sixty students and can be used as a classroom in addition to a choral rehearsal space.
A.Y. McDonald Performance Lobby
From the moment one approaches the entrance to the A.Y. McDonald Lobby, the Center "tips its hat" in welcome as the glass curtain wall facing south and west pitches out at 10 degrees. Upon entering, one's eye is drawn both skyward by the 33 foot height and forward by the warm, inviting color of the walls which seem to "open their arms" in welcome.
Entrances to John and Alice Butler Hall are marked with doors that introduce a stylized treble clef theme that is carried through the Center in a number of forms as well as in upswept wings. The lobby has ample space to accommodate comfortably patrons gathering before and after a performance as well as serving as the location for special University celebrations and dinners.
Charles and Elizabeth Bisignano Gallery
The glass-walled Charles and Elizabeth Bisignano Gallery, located at the east edge of the A.Y. McDonald Lobby and the west edge of the Cybercafé, is at one of the busiest crossroads of Heritage Center. Art galleries at colleges and universities are - more often than not - located away from major centers of campus activity.
The Bisignano Gallery, one of the many opportunities for Art and Worship by Osmosis in the Center, is situated along the major student traffic pattern from the South to North Campus. A pedestrian pathway takes students from the Center's south entrance on Bennett Street, up a stairway to the second floor, along Main Street, and out the north entrance on Grace Street.
Linda Chlapaty Music Education Suite
The spacious Linda Chlapaty Music Education Suite honors Linda Chlapaty who, together with her spouse Joseph, has provided much of the strong financial support that has launched the University into a future bright with possibility and potential. She is an educator and a former teacher.
The suite holds 10 individual, sound-isolating practice rooms with pianos, keyboards, guitar amps, and percussion equipment. A suite of this type is a first for the University – spaces configured specifically to provide the very best practice and teaching for performing arts.
Cybercafe and American Trust Lounge
The Cybercafé with seating for 124, is a beautiful, light-filled, and colorful space for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy a meal or a snack. The University's traditional dining hall in Peters Commons that has served generations of Spartans has, over the last decade, reached its capacity in its ability to serve students. This new food venue provides a much needed second space for students to dine.
The floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall in the café creates an environment for diners that makes one feel as though one is both inside the building and outside all at once, with a view to the west entrance of Charles and Romona Myers Center and what will soon be developed into a new South Quadrangle. In spring, summer, and fall, a door in the curtain wall provides the means to use a patio that will be alive with tables and bright, multi-colored umbrellas.
One of the most interesting features of the Cybercafé is the American Trust Lounge. Cantilevered over the lower level of the Cybercafé, the lounge has a tree house effect, a perch from which to view activity on the first floor of the café and a fresh perspective on the South Quad. This will be one of the campus' most popular places to study, work on assignments, or relax. For hours and more information, click CyberCafé.
Adjacent to the Babka Theatre is the Palmer-Noone Lounge that functions as a green room for University and guest performances both in the Babka Theatre and John and Alice Butler Hall. In everyday use, it functions as one of the many quiet places throughout the building for students to meet and study.
Mark and Cheryl Falb Balcony
The Mark and Cheryl Falb Balcony offers patrons and guests one of the most dramatic views on the University campus. From the balcony, one can observe the entire performance hall lobby as well as the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center, the football stadium, South Campus, and beyond the campus to the hills that surround Dubuque to the south and west. The balcony also provides easy access to the balcony area of John and Alice Butler Hall.
Sparty's Convenience Store
Across Main Street from the Choral Rehearsal Room is Sparty's, the University's new convenience store. In response to student requests for a campus store that would carry sundry, personal, and convenience items, space was allocated for such a store from the earliest planning. The name, of course, refers to Spartan Nation's iconic, playful symbol, Sparty, which has a strong presence throughout the store.
Mike & Betty's Ice Cream Shoppe
At the corner of Main Street and Campus Post Lane is Mike and Betty's Ice Cream Shoppe (just inside the Heritage Center North Tower entrance on the second floor). You'll find 16 different hard-packed ice cream flavors plus soft serve is always in stock. Try a "Bullock" with flavors including Butterfinger, M&M, Oreo, Reeses, Snickers, cookie dough, and sprinkles.
UD History Display
The building also includes a significant display venue for archival and heritage articles and artifacts from the University of Dubuque's long and storied history. This important heritage piece is housed in the Main Hall lobby with proximity to the art gallery and other public spaces.