Christopher Cohan Center

Christopher Cohan Center

CALENDAR

October 2014
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make a night

Christopher Cohan Center

Our magnificent performing arts center is the result of a partnership and a true spirit of cooperation between California Polytechnic State University, the City of San Luis Obispo and the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center. The vision came into focus in November, 1986 when these three partners entered into a unique agreement to do what no single entity could do alone - build a state-of-the-art performing arts center to serve the greater San Luis Obispo community.

From the beginning it was recognized that through partnership it was possible to accomplish what none could do alone. It was believed that the people of our area and visitors to our community deserved a special facility devoted to the enrichment of lives through the quality presentation of arts and cultural activities.

During the course of the center's planning, it was decided to incorporate the existing 498-seat Cal Poly Theatre and to call the entire complex the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo. The new facility, featuring a concert hall with 1,289 seats, the pavilion - a multi-purpose venue, and a 180-seat recital hall, was named the Christopher Cohan Center. Cohan's family ties to San Luis Obispo date back to the early days of television. His father, the late John Cohan, was president and part owner of television station KSBY and radio station KVEC from 1955 until his death in 1974. Christopher Cohan resided in San Luis Obispo from the 1970s until 1982 and was the president of Sonic Communications. In 1990, Cohan made a gift of $2.1 million on the eve of the inauguration of the capital campaign for the center's construction. It was the largest single gift to any individual California State University campus. Cohan was recognized in the naming of the new center in 1996.

Construction on the Cohan Center began in the spring of 1994 and a weeklong festival opening was celebrated in September 1996. The facility is dedicated to many people who, through their vision and effort, brought this Center into existence, and to those who will use and enjoy the facility long into the future.