“The arts are an essential facet of the world-class education we seek to provide all Princeton students. Those who engage deeply with the arts broaden their perspectives, enhance their creativity, and enrich their lives.”

— President Christopher L. Eisgruber, ‘83

Princeton University’s programs in Creative Writing, DanceMusic TheaterTheaterVisual Arts and the interdisciplinary Atelier form the Lewis Center for the Arts. Envisioned by former President Shirley Tilghman as an initiative to elevate the quality and expand the breadth of creative opportunities on campus, the Lewis Center exists thanks to a community of partners across campus and the generosity of its extraordinary supporters.

The Center serves the campus and the wider Princeton regional community through the presentation of over 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, film screenings and lectures each year, most of them free.

The Lewis Center is named in honor of the late Peter B. Lewis (1933 – 2013). A member of Princeton’s Class of 1955 and a former Charter Trustee of the University, Mr. Lewis ushered in a new era for the arts at Princeton with an unprecedented $101 million gift to the University in 2006.

Welcome from Tracy K. Smith

Climate & Inclusion Statement of Purpose, Principles, and Practices

The Lewis Center for the Arts (LCA) is a home for artists, educators, staff, scholars, students, audiences and those who embrace, embody, and nurture an expansive vision of art.

We believe that art as a practice generates, significantly clarifies, and shares human experience and should not be a matter of luxury and privilege.

Since creating and engaging in art is greatly enhanced by equitable participation, we believe diversity is a foundational value.

The LCA offers radical welcome and open-ended exploration and is eager to seek out identities and practices yet unnamed.

We recognize and seek to correct past and ongoing exclusionary and discriminatory attitudes and processes in art making, education, and institutions.

We commit to:

  • serving as a resource for artmaking and appreciation in the community
  • holding power accountable and questioning hierarchies through creation, critique, activism, advocacy, and transparency
  • perpetually broadening our concepts of inclusion
  • reaching out to the overlooked and the underserved
  • learning as well as teaching
  • opening, defending, and expanding a safe space for artmaking
  • celebrating the intersectional diversity of our audiences, faculty, staff, students, and surrounding community