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Museum dedicates auditorium to Shreveport native son Van Cliburn

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KATE ARCHER KENT
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After more than three years of renovations costing over $100,000, the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum’s Van Cliburn Auditorium will be dedicated Sunday.

  The renovation of the 333-seat auditorium includes a tribute wall of photos featuring the world-renowned pianist who kept many close ties to his native Shreveport.

Sunday’s ceremony will feature two past medalists of the Nena Plant Wideman International Piano Competition. Stanislav Khristenko rehearsed Thursday in the auditorium with a Steinway grand piano on stage.

The museum’s curator Nita Cole says the renovation began in a legislative act years ago to be able to name the auditorium after Van Cliburn.

“It took a long time. We started with the curtain because it was dusty, moldy and yucky. When we got a new curtain, the carpets looked dingy. We decided to do carpets and then paint,” Cole said. “The building is 77 years old with the last renovation in 1992. The little four-inch ceiling tiles were starting to fall down. So, we had to replace that.”

Ukrainian-born pianist Stanislav Khristenko and Israeli pianist Tomer Gewirtzman will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday as part of the Van Cliburn Auditorium dedication that is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by the Noel Foundation Chamber Music Series.

The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum is located at 015 Greenwood Rd, Shreveport.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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