New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ’30 gave the keynote address at the the Hopkins Center for the Arts's dedication ceremony on November 8, 1962. The subsequent 11-day inaugural program included a performance by the Glee Club, a production of Danton's Death by the Dartmouth Players, a concert by the Dartmouth College Band, and a student dance in the Top of the Hop.
In 1988, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized the Hop as one of the nation's exemplary performing arts centers. The center houses classrooms, studios and other facilities, as well as the offices of the Departments of Music, Theater, Film & Media Studies, and Studio Art.
The Hop celebrated its 50th year in 2012 with performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, John Lithgow, and a number of other acclaimed artists. In the May/June 2012 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, alumni shared their favorite memories of the Hopkins center, including Jerry Zaks ’67, a Tony Award-winning director and actor.
“It was Winter Carnival 1965. I was a premed sophomore with a blind date. I took her to the Hop to see Warner Bentley’s production of the musical Wonderful Town—and it changed my life forever. Now, 45 years later, I am a director of Broadway plays and musicals. It all started at the Hop. And I’m forever grateful.”
—Jerry Zaks '67
In that same issue, Sarah Schewe '12 introduced a photo gallery of images of the Hop and the rich arts activity that it houses:
"Flanking the southern edge of the Green, Dartmouth’s pint-size version of New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center turns 50 this year. The Hop, named one of the nation’s exemplary performing arts centers by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988, attracts more than just performing artists. The Hop is not special because of its awards, big-name acts or even the sheer volume of its shows. The Hop invites everyone in—from athletes eating after practice to the premed major who saw his first musical at the Hop and 45 years later is a Tony Award-winning Broadway director. It’s a home for raw talents and the just raw: Students make costumes, build sets and slap together a lot of wobbly chairs in the woodshop. Much has changed in the last five decades, but the Hop remains the cultural heart of campus, beating with the nit and grit and grind of people trying to make something of their art—and of themselves."
View the photo gallery from Dartmouth Alumni Magazine