The new performance hall's superb acoustics were meticulously integrated in the design, construction and furnishings of every component of the hall.

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The Project > The New Gaillard Center

A Civic Touchstone That Cultivates Imagination And Celebrates Its People.

Elevating Charleston's cultural life.

Over the past two decades, Charleston has won international acclaim for its beauty, its delicious food and restaurants, its important historic sites and dedicated preservation efforts, its romantic wedding venues, its prestigious arts festivals, the gracious manners and kindness of its people and, most recently, its attractiveness to Fortune 500 companies. Maintaining those standards requires work.

The community of Charleston has a fortuitous opportunity to reinvest in the cultural vitality and relevance of our city through the creation of a superb performance hall tailored to the artistic needs of the city, together with a beautiful exhibition hall for use by residents and visitors alike for business and creative endeavors.

The new neo-classical Gaillard will give us a superior performance hall, ample and elegant convention and banquet space, an inspiring learning space and catalyst for the arts education of school-children, and, in total, a hub of artistic, intellectual, and civic activity with an estimated annual economic impact of close to $40 million a year.


A right-sized, world-class venue to sustain local arts organizations and showcase international artists.

The Arts

Charleston's cultural future

The commitment to build a world-class performance hall symbolizes a community's ambition to invest in the cultural future of a city and its citizens—to commit to its progress and continuity, its excellence, its promise of greatness through time. It is Charleston's time to invest in ours - in yours.

While Charleston has a magnificent set of performance venues interwoven throughout the fabric of the city, it lacks a world-class performance hall of the perfect size that can attract and offer artistic productions and experiences of a superior caliber in an elegant and festive setting worthy of our cherished city. Our status in the arts world, our arts organizations as well as arts lovers, children, and the population at large suffer from this void.

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A world-class venue

The new Gaillard Center Performance Hall is extremely important for the continued cultural excellence of our city. While improving the ability of all citizens to enjoy the arts, our new hall significantly enhances our ability to attract performances and artist of world-class caliber and, with them, greater numbers of arts lovers and patrons from around the world. It also offers the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Spoleto Festival USA a venue that complements and supports their work.

Energizing our economy and our lives

By providing an elegant and state-of-the-art performance and exhibition space, the new Gaillard will elevate Charleston's status in the arts community and contribute to its acclaim and sophistication, making it even more vibrant as a place of residence and a destination for business. It will also reinvigorate enthusiasm for the arts in our city, energizing our intellectual life as well as business and our economy.

Remember, our investment in the arts in an investment in our city.

Ways To Support

Adding nearly 1,000 jobs during the new
Gaillard Center's construction.

Our Economy

The economic well-being of our city

Over the past two decades, Charleston has won international acclaim for its beauty, food and restaurants, historic sites and preservation, wedding venues, the manners and kindness of its people and, most recently, its attractiveness to Fortune 500 companies.

Yet, to continue to fulfill Charleston's potential, it is as necessary for us to invest in the facilities on which its future economic growth and status depend. A new performance hall and meeting space are of paramount importance to the economic well-being of our city.

The new Gaillard Center is projected to generate nearly $40 million a year in revenue for our community:

World-class performance and exhibition halls will elevate Charleston's status in the arts community and contribute to its acclaim and sophistication, making it even more vibrant as a place of residence and a destination for business.

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The Charleston Symphony Orchestra will have an elegant and acoustically superior facility, providing it an energizing platform from which to grow and excel.

A greater variety and higher caliber of performances will attract arts lovers and renew enthusiasm for the arts, resulting in increased excitement and energy in the arts community and stronger ticket sales.

Beautified and more flexible meeting and exhibit space will make the Gaillard an option for a wider variety of events, from weddings to festivals, banquets to corporate meetings and conventions—an industry with vast trickle-down economic effect.

Concentrating municipal offices at the Gaillard will reduce by approximately $1 million the amount the city spends yearly in leased office space.

The new building will create 400 new jobs (1,000 during construction), and events there will create additional employment opportunities.

Sustained arts education programs can improve children's academic performance, increasing our intellectual capital, making our city more attractive to business investment, and creating more professional opportunities for young people.

We welcome your support in building a dynamic civic space with performance and exhibition opportunities like never before.

Ways To Support

Performing and arts education activity spaces to showcase young artists and teach.


Every child, every year.

The arts nourish the imagination. They teach about stories. They open our eyes and our ears to the unseen and the unheard. They inspire compassion and contemplation. They teach us about ideas and help us to do better in school.

We believe the new Gaillard Center will offer an unprecedented opportunity to expand learning experiences in the arts for all local school-age children.

Improved interest and performance

Experience in the arts enhances the academic voyage of children and often results in improved student interest and achievement. Studies link visual arts instruction with reading readiness; dramatic enactment with conflict resolution skills, reading comprehension, and understanding of narrative; dance with nonverbal reasoning; music instruction with the understanding of ideas in time and space, which leads to the sharpening of math skills.

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Overall, experiences in the arts contribute to the development of learning and social skills—from abstract thought to reasoning ability, ability to draw inferences, problem solving, perception, creativity, self-confidence, collaboration, empathy, the ability to focus, see, and listen.

The arts cultivate sustained attention, engagement, and willingness to take intellectual risks. These are transferable skills that improve one's life and translate into fulfillment and professional success.

Sadly, many of our school-age children have never seen a ballet, a symphony performance or musical theatre. And, with the new performance hall that can change.

Future Founders

Headed by campaign cabinet members Sandra and Spencer Deering, The Future Founders program is working to build financial as well as cultural support to make the new Gaillard Center the great catalyst it can be for the arts education of our children.

Future Founders - Learn More

To get involved in the Future Founders program, contact Sandra Deering at

"Gaillard Center is an opportunity that is unique in our lifetime - unique, perhaps, in the history of Charleston".

Joseph P. Riley, Jr.Mayor, City of Charleston