Mission and History

Dibden Center for the ArtsOur Mission

The Mission of Dibden Center for the Arts is to support the mission of the Vermont State Colleges and Johnson State College and to:

Provide a living facility which is home to a Transformed Learning Community. Every member of the community is valued and integral to the functioning of the whole. The values of creativity, diversity, inclusiveness, empowerment, excellence and responsibility are coupled with exposure to a world of disciplines in the creative industries, and the opportunities to participate and evolve in profound ways.

A Brief History of Dibden

Completed in 1971, Dibden Center for the Arts serves as home to Johnson State College’s Fine and Performing Arts programs and hosts numerous visual and performing arts events each year. Construction began as part of a campus-wide building program overseen by JSC president (1967-69) Arthur J. Dibden, who felt that buildings helped determine a place’s identity. And indeed, Dibden has played a major role in the school’s identity, serving as the cultural heart of campus.

The building itself was designed by architect Robert Burley, who took his inspiration for the building’s roofline from the Sterling Mountain range — the building’s backdrop. Inside, the 500-seat theater with its proscenium stage was constructed with special attention to acoustics, so as to produce an ideal location for listening to music and viewing theatrical productions.

A gallery, practice spaces, a recording studio and faculty and staff offices all help make Dibden a space to nurture arts on campus, as well as making it a magnet for locally, nationally and internationally known artists and performers.