The Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, opened in 2009, offers classroom space, two theatres, an art gallery, outdoor sculpture garden, TV studio, photography studio, and more. At 85,000 square feet, it is the size of a city block. It was constructed with just over 10,000 concrete blocks. The HBFFAC was made possible by 39 donors, with donations ranging from $2,500 up to $6.8 million. Among its incredible spaces are:

  • 25 classrooms and three computer labs
  • the Dr. Arthur W. Kennedy (Class of '41) Band Room which includes percussion rehearsal space, storage for instruments, a band library and eight private practice rooms
  • the William C. Thrash Television Studio, which is the first true HDTV studio in southeastern Oklahoma 
  • the Pogue Gallery, which exhibits the work of nationally renowned and local artists as well as student shows
  • a permanent collection of art including works from Salvador Dali, Ludolf Liberts, Francisco Goya, Leon Polk Smith, and a work attributed to Matisse
  • the Sculpture Garden, which displays the Ruth Walker Landrum Sculpture Collection
  • the Chalmers Herman Theatre, an intimate venue seating up to 200 patrons and featuring a balcony performance/seating area
  • the Ataloa Theatre, a large venue that seats up to 1,086 patrons with floor and balcony seating available
  • the David A. and Alma R. Lockmiller Grand Lobby, which is 42 feet tall and frequently used for banquets and receptions
  • the Choral Hall, featuring Wenger choir risers and a unique acoustic ceiling
  • the Edna Mae Query Cooley Costume Shop where costumes for ECU theatre productions are created and altered
  • the Peshehonoff Scene Shop, with specific areas for construction and painting 
  • a Recording Studio that enables students to record live events
  • a comprehensive Art Museum with 250 works on view

Hallie Brown Ford (March 17, 1905 - June 4, 2007)
Hallie Brown Ford was East Central University's greatest benefactor. Ford has given approximately $7 million to ECU. She donated funds to establish and enhance ECU's Franciso-Hatchett Scholarships and to furnish and equip the new Linsheid Library. HallieBFord-web.jpgHer $5.25 million gift to the ECU Foundation Inc., the largest private gift to benefit the university, was the start of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. An additional $650,000 gift was earmarked for audio equipment for the center and for scholarship funds. ECU named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1992, and in 2007, honored her with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award for her many gifts to the university. The award in future years will be named the Hallie Brown ford Award for Philanthropy.

Ford was born in Red Ford, Indian Territory, on March 17, 1905. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Beggs High School and put herself through ECU, graduating in 1930 with a teaching certificate. She taught briefly in Oklahoma, then followed her parents to Oregon and taught in the Lebanon area. She married Kenneth W. Ford in 1935 and moved to Roseburg, Oregon. She played an active role with him in establishing and growing Roseburg Lumber Co., now known as Roseburg Forest Products Co. She became an active leader in business and community affairs and a generous supporter of education and the arts. She was one of the founders, in 1957, of the Ford Family Foundation, which has helped numerous arts organizations, universities, and scholarship recipients, primarily in Oregon. Among her awards were the Governor's Arts Award for Arts Patronage, the Support of Arts Scholarship Programs in 1996, and the Roseburg First Citizens Award from the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce in 1967.

Ford lived frugally, her family said, and reserved most of her wealth to benefit others. The Foundation's website quotes her belief that "It's not what you have, but what you give to your family, your community, and your country."

Touring the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center
We are always happy to offer tours of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, the preeminent academic arts facility of its kind in Oklahoma and the surrounding region. Contact us in advance to schedule a tour. This is a working building and often there are shows moving in and out, rehearsals, as well as daily classes. Normal tour times are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, but on occasion exceptions can be made for large groups. Please call us at 580-559-5851 and we will arrange a tour for you!

Renting the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center
Below are links to all of the information you will need in order to book the Ataloa Theatre, Chalmers Herman Theatre, David A. and Alma R. Lockmiller Grand Lobby, Art Gallery, Sculpture Garden, Centennial Plaza, Gazebo, and Dorothy I. Summers Theatre. If you have additional questions, please contact the Facility Coordinator Lauren Hathcoat at 580-559-5781.

  • HBFFAC Policies and Procedures - Please read over the Facility Policies and Procedures before signing your request form. You are agreeing that you have read and will abide by them.
  • HBFFAC Rental Rates - Our rates are based off of the length of time the space is being used, how it is used, and time of day and week it is being used, as well as if your group has non-profit status.
  • Strike Checklist - This form will allow you to see what we check for in order to return your security deposit. 
  • HBFFAC Facility Request - Please fill out this form fully. We have a section-by-section guide on how to fill it out if you have any questions. 
  • Dorothy I. Summers Theatre Policies and Procedures - Please read over the Facility Policies and Procedures before signing your request form. You are agreeing that you have read and will abide by them.
  • Usher/Staffing Info - This is a brief guide to give you an idea of the minimum number of ushers and technicians that you will need for an event.