Tate + Gate: a hotspot for innovation

Posted on August 05, 2021

Rendering of Tate and Gate building
An early conceptual rendering of Tate + Gate produced by students in UNCG Associate Professor of Interior Architecture Travis Hicks’ capstone course. New renderings from the selected architectural firm are forthcoming.
An early conceptual rendering of Tate + Gate produced by students in UNCG Associate Professor of Interior Architecture Travis Hicks’ capstone course. New renderings from the selected architectural firm are forthcoming.

A significant new development on the UNC Greensboro campus is underway. Architectural firm EVOKE Studio Architecture of Durham has been selected to design the new Tate + Gate facility, the first building to be erected as part of the Millennial Campus initiative to develop the Gate City Boulevard and Tate Street corridors.

“The new building exemplifies our bonfire strategy – to create hotspots of innovation that drive creative activity, research, community engagement, and excellence,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. ”This project is unique, and will offer new opportunities for our students and faculty and the greater community. It will be a destination like no other in our state.” 

A Catalyst for Creativity and Innovation

Under the leadership of the Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Endowed Director of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Juliette Bianco, the University will establish an accessible, multi-purpose, innovative, and collaborative facility that will serve the campus and contribute to Greensboro’s vibrant arts community and culture. Because the new facility will be located just a few minutes’ walk from the Weatherspoon, UNCG Auditorium, and Taylor and Brown theaters, and will be situated at the intersection of the arts, wellness, and technology districts of the Millennial Campus, the new Tate + Gate will encourage innovation through spontaneous cross-disciplinary interactions. The early design phase will begin in the coming months, and will expand into construction over the next few years.

“Tate + Gate will be an inspirational and accessible hub for UNCG, community, and invited artists, thinkers, and makers to create and share new creative work that resonates locally, nationally, and globally for the improvement of people’s lives and the betterment of the community,” says Bianco. “Championing research, experimentation, collaboration, and the innovative use of technology, it will help people use creative dialogue and artistic exchange to better understand one another and our environments to drive inclusive social practice, create new work, and promote change-oriented action in our community.”

The new facility will allow for creative focus on how art in all its forms (and across time and traditions) intersects with themes such as technology, social justice, health and wellness, climate change, social and cultural entrepreneurship, and the collaborative creation of new knowledge. Tate + Gate will be a hive of creativity through its spaces designed for collaboration; a gateway to leadership through its integration with the University’s Arts Administration program; and a catalyst for innovation through its technologically advanced systems that will support artistic creation, research, and community development.

An aerial view of the Tate + Gate site.

Igniting the Vision

Arts and culture are pillars of the University’s strategic plan, and Tate + Gate’s unique design and programming positions it to support UNCG’s strategic vision in numerous ways:

  • A catalyst for creativity, opportunity, and collaboration: Tate + Gate will become an incubator for impactful new creative work by scholars and students, and introduce new cutting-edge technologies such as “low latency” networks to be utilized in research and educational applications, with the ability to connect geographically dispersed artistic and cultural communities, including rural parts of our state. This new work will elevate the reputation of UNCG. It will be the space where UNCG supports experimentation with new ways of thinking and knowing in order to stay relevant to the concerns of our students and community members in the future.
  • A gateway to a career: Tate + Gate will fuel a pipeline of professionals who are uniquely prepared to enter the arts and cultural fields in North Carolina and across the nation. For instance, students will gain sought-after experience (e.g., events, production, curatorial, administration, website, and social media), including possible postgraduate internships. Students will have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge programs and technologies that will enable them in the job market.
  • Curricular support: UNCG offers the only interdisciplinary undergraduate arts management program in the UNC System, with students interested in careers in visual art, dance, music, theatre, and interdisciplinary arts in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. The Arts Administration program has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2015. It currently has over 100 majors, more than 30 minors, and nearly 100 alumni, most of whom are living and working in North Carolina. The program’s curriculum will be strengthened by incorporating new opportunities for students to work in an emerging arts facility as part of their education. This one-of-a-kind experience will grow the program by attracting and retaining at least 20% more students over five years, with potentially many more. As interest in this major is extremely high, Arts Administration is an integral part of UNCG’s enrollment growth strategy.
  • New partnerships: Tate + Gate will provide opportunities to develop new campus and community partnerships with a purpose. Partners will collaborate to address key issues facing the world with creativity at the core of their efforts.
  • National and global impact: Tate + Gate intends to create an artist-in-residence program to increase its regional impact. Nationally and internationally known visual and performing artists, choreographers, writers, computer programmers, scientists, and other creative thinkers will be invited to engage for an extended time with our campus and community members to collaborate on new work.

Form meets function

Strategically located in the Millennial Campus district, the new 20,000 square-foot Tate + Gate facility will be a multi-purpose cultural arts venue that includes a flexible performance space, gallery, maker space, instructional and practice rooms, and a potential cafe space – all with revenue-generating potential to support the needs of the venue. The facility will integrate technology such as immersive projection and green screen to inspire innovative performance, research, and learning. Tate + Gate will offer a beautiful, functional building that meets the University’s programmatic, operational, economic and sustainability goals. 

Location, location, location
This premiere facility will serve as a significant, highly visible landmark signaling entrance into UNCG’s campus and the beginning of the Arts District that runs down Tate Street. The intersection of Tate Street and Gate City Boulevard marks the confluence where the two Millennial Campus corridors meet, and the new Tate + Gate will enhance the profile of the University by knitting together a nationally recognized College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Weatherspoon, a nationally-accredited art museum, with the City of Greensboro’s new arts initiatives to deliver new and exciting academic programming and student opportunities. 

In 2017, the UNC Board of Governors approved the Millennial Campus designation for two districts on UNCG’s campus: a health and wellness corridor along Gate City Boulevard, and an arts and culture corridor along Tate Street. Both districts play to UNCG’s strengths and provide numerous strategic opportunities for public/private partnerships that will drive regional economic development and community engagement. Tate + Gate represents the confluence of these two corridors.

Story by Matthew Bryant and Eden Bloss, University Communications


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