The Clarice has been using a projection screen in its concert hall for over 12 years and over the course of time, tremendous growth has taken place. The team at the University of Maryland were looking for a way to enhance learning and accessibility in this space.
The Draper RopeWalker 255" 16:10 Projection Screen was the chosen solution. The cabling that was installed was able to give the seamless effect that the screen was floating and complemented the space without contesting its beauty or distracting from the performances.
The installation of the Draper Projection Screen has given The Clarice the ability to leverage the power of the arts so that all students can enjoy and access every performance. The screen also gave staff and students full control with a touch of a button. They are now able to turn over a space in minutes when previously it required hours.
In April of 2021, after the inauguration of its new president, Darrell Pines, The University of Maryland launched an Arts for All Initiative. The goal was to elevate the different arts programs on the campus with accolades primarily in the STEM field. The Clarice Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland is an incredibly unique space physically and in the experiences it is able to accommodate. The team recognized the opportunity for art-tech collaboration to not only contribute to the learning experiences for the University of Maryland students, but also elevate the caliber and possibilities of the performances.
The technology used at the Clarice before this project was unwieldy, time consuming, and required extensive manual work to operate. It presented obstacles in scheduling, labor, and did not suit the level of the performances, events and academic standards that the space held. There were a number of goals the team at UMD had set that focused on leveraging the arts and integrating it into other majors and studies such as the STEM field. The addition of new technology in this facility would compliment and support those goals well. The team needed a solution that would accommodate the above along with ensured safety, efficiency and align with the campuses academic goals, while upholding its uniqueness and beauty.
Finding a Unique Solution
To find the right solution, the Clarice team partnered with Bluum Technology and Draper. Together they considered multiple factors. UMD in sync with the Arts for All Initiative utilized 3 core pillars in deciding which solution was best.
- Integrating the arts into the previously unrelated disciplines on campus.
- Ensure each student in the university has a meaningful experience creatively, whether involved in the arts or not.
- Utilize the power of the arts in a social justice setting, allowing each student a voice and the means to make an impact on their community.
Bluum Technology ensured that the solution would create an environment where these core ideas are supported and students could thrive.
This project was such a unique experience with many stakeholders coming together to find the best solution for the space. When Bluum Technology began this project, the team at the Clarice Performing Arts Center had clear parameters around what they needed to accomplish. With the understanding that no space is ever one size fits all, Bluum Technology was able to give recommendations, using a consultative approach, based on these parameters. Some considerations included the double drop solution and ensuring a stable product was chosen, which would be an enhancement to the space rather than a distraction. Once it was decided that the flexibility of projectors would be the most effective route, Bluum Technology and the Clarice Performing Arts Center team began exploring different options and decided the Draper Ropewalker was the best solution.
- Leah Pence, Account Executive at Bluum Technology
...we want to make certain that every student on this campus can see and hear themselves in the music we produce, the plays we present, the things we put on our stages, the creative writing we create. So thinking about how to make certain there's representation broadly in all of the arts, but then our third pillar is what makes us really unique. I don't think anybody else is doing that, and this is the connection to social justice, leveraging the power of the arts, which can build, maintain, and transform communities to help give those communities the voices they need to advocate for the change they want to see.
- Patrick Warfield, UMD Professor of Musicology, Associate Dean for Arts and Programming within the College of Arts and Humanities, and Director of Arts for All
The addition of the Draper Ropewalker Projection Screen created many opportunities for the Clarice Performing Arts Center. Orchestras, award shows, keynote speakers and events are some examples of the performances that are now enhanced because of this new technology. This project came to life in such an incredible way. When discussing the future plans for the Clarice, there is a recognition of the existing strong foundation for collaboration between art and science. However, the focus now lies on integrating art, social justice, and technology into a cohesive space. The question that arises is how to create inclusive environments where individuals who typically lack access to augmented or virtual reality, for example, can not only learn to use these technologies but also have the necessary equipment and resources to create something innovative. The aim is to foster an environment where diverse disciplines intersect, enabling the exploration of new possibilities and empowering individuals from all backgrounds to engage with cutting-edge technologies and contribute to the convergence of art, social justice, and technology in meaningful ways. We look forward to the growth and impact the UMD can make with the addition of their newest technology.
*Photos: Courtesy of Draper, Inc.