Hammer 2.0

Hammer TheatreDeveloping the Hammer Theatre Initiative

After nine months of public process that included numerous meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions about the beloved iconic blue box on the Paseo de San Antonio, in June 2015 the San José City Council unanimously endorsed SJSU’s proposal to operate the Hammer Theatre Center for the next three years.

Known to many of you simply as the Rep, the San José Repertory Theatre was founded in 1980. Its sudden closing last year created a blight on the downtown area and an economic hardship that affected local businesses, particularly those that depended on theatre patrons.

At SJSU, we are excited about the possibilities that come with reactivating the Hammer Theatre Center with dynamic, diversified programming. We are working to build a Collaborative for Arts, Innovation, and Technology to revitalize San José by expressing the ideas and creativity inherent in Silicon Valley. This represents an opportunity for the College of Humanities and the Arts to take the lead, and help the campus become more embedded in the downtown community. With a commitment to the downtown arts scene and a framework for asking all faculty, staff, and students to imagine how they can participate in the Collaborative for Arts, Innovation, and Technology, we believe that we are poised to take SJSU’s artistic and cultural programming to new levels.

The contract with the city should be signed by the end of September, after which we will continue to work with the city to improve the facility and build programming ideas to help activate the theatre and surrounding outdoor spaces. Hammer 2.0 meetings are taking place regularly on campus. You can sign up for updates and learn more about theatre use and activation on the Hammer 2.0 website.

“It is an exciting and unique opportunity for the city, the arts community, and our campus community. We are very pleased to be able to be a part of this wonderful effort,” noted Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance Josee Larochelle.Here in the College of Humanities and the Arts, we are already looking toward the Hammer’s future opportunities for programming which will revitalize downtown, bringing patrons and artists back together inside their beloved blue box.