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UD holds first classes at The Hub Powered by PNC

UD holds first classes at The Hub Powered by PNC

Lauren Durham ’22 August 25, 2021

Four years after President Eric F. Spina announced the University of Dayton would be the anchor tenant in the major redevelopment of the historic Arcade building, an important landmark to the city’s downtown, the vision was fulfilled Monday as students brought books, art supplies and cups of coffee to The Hub Powered by PNC — a refreshed place of creativity, ingenuity and rich history — for the first time. 

About 250 students from a variety of majors, including undergraduates studying art and design as well as entrepreneurship, have in-person classes at The Hub this fall. 

Students walk on the reclaimed wooden floors toward their first classes
Students arrive to the site of their new classrooms in The Hub. 

At 95,000 square feet, The Hub, a partnership with The Entrepreneurs’ Center,  is among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country, including shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, pop-up retail opportunities, learning labs and classrooms. 

“I think this is really special for UD and the community because it is a bridge between the two,” said Taja Ford, a senior communication major who spent nearly six weeks at The Hub this summer as an intern for The Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation, known as IACT.

Spaces inside of The Hub include UD’s entrepreneurship offices; studios for painting, printmaking, photo and graphic design; and The GEM, a space for all learners to collaborate across disciplines to develop creative competencies and earn micro-credentials. 

students sit in a classroom
The first day of classes gets started.

“The Hub is especially valuable for community-based experiential learning, as the space brings students into contact with a diverse array of professionals working across disciplines and social boundaries,” said Glenna Jennings, professor of photography and sustainability scholar. 

Jennings’ students will use The Hub in partnership with Gem City Market and Dayton FoodBank to produce multimedia artwork addressing food justice in the Dayton region and beyond. The socially engaged art project, Dinner in the Desert Kitchen, will have its fifth annual art exhibition, photo auction and dinner event at the end of the fall semester.

Darden Bradshaw and Sarah Brashears, professors of visual arts education, will utilize the Makerspace — an art studio that will allow education students to learn natural die processes, weaving with tapestry and floor looms, and handmade felt in 2D and 3D. 

According to Bradshaw, the Makerspace “is a site that fosters learning opportunities while building a bridge in which we can work to engage in collaborative and community focused art education.” 

Student talks to a reporter
An art and design student talks to the media on the first day of classes.

Both professors said they are eager to use the space. 

“I’ve taught art in a science lab from a cart, and in a rectory basement next to confessional booths. Needless to say, the space at The Hub is by far the loveliest teaching spot I have had to date,” Brashears said. “The Arcade is such an architectural marvel. It just oozes old charm with new, lively energy.”

Bradshaw is looking forward to seeing how The Hub impacts the future of art education at UD.

Two students talk while sitting at a table
Students are taking classes in art, design, entrepreneurship and more. 

“The Makerspace holds unlimited possibilities and potential to celebrate creativity, learning and community-based art education,” Bradshaw said. “I am excited to see how this space supports change and building connections while transforming art education at UD.” 

Photos by Larry Burgess.

Rebirth of the Arcade