Rental and Campus Use of Venues

Beyond our in-house curatorial arts and research program, EMPAC is a mixed-use facility that serves the Rensselaer campus and greater Capital Region. Featuring five state-of-the-art performance and presentation spaces, a full-service cafe, an open-air terrace, and a variety of welcoming interstitial spaces, EMPAC offers a dynamic range of rental possibilities, should you be planning a conference, celebration, business occasion, or any other event.

Please complete our venue request form to request space for your prospective event.

Public Spaces + Studio Beta

Our multi-tiered lobby and cafe are flooded with natural light from the grand staircase’s ninety-foot high glass wall and the skylight that encircles the concert hall. The enormous glass north wall has heated fluid circulating through its frame to prevent condensation and allow for clear views. As a result, the café and lobby form an attractive campus social space. In addition to the major venues, we have several studios and workspaces for residencies by artists, scholars and researchers. Studio Beta is a rehearsal and performance space particularly suited to use by student groups.

Concert Hall

The concert hall combines the outstanding acoustics, refined materials, and comfort of great concert halls of the past with the flexibility and technology of the 21st-century. The hall’s superior acoustics come from a number of innovations. Convex walls and other shaped surfaces allow performers or loudspeakers to be anywhere in the hall, redefining the notion that music comes only from the stage. A fabric ceiling was developed for the first time ever for both for its acoustic and aesthetic properties. Air rises quietly from under the seats rather than being forced down by noisy fans. Visually, staging elements or screens, projectors, and platforms can be flown anywhere in the hall; high-definition video can be projected on the 56’ wide screen, and uncompressed video and audio recording over fiber cables is possible.


The theater incorporates theatrical technology and capabilities that were previously found only in the most advanced stage spectacles. The sixty-foot flytower (the space directly above the stage, which itself is 80’ by 40’) allows for scenery, screens, lights etc. to be flown in and out. Computer-controlled rigging means that anything – props, projectors, or people – can be flown (and controlled by computer in real-time, a first in theater technology) throughout the stage space. The theater is as quiet as a recording studio and has the technological infrastructure of an HD video studio. The low stage allows for tangible immediacy between audience and performers.

The Studios

The Goodman Studio/Theater and studio 2 are exceptionally versatile spaces for the integration of digital technology with human expression and perception (sometimes referred to as “multi-modal environments.”). Catwalks and control rooms are located above and outside the studios to allow for completely unencumbered space, and for the projection of lights and images virtually anywhere in the volume of the studios. Acoustic wall tiles offer a completely novel approach to the acoustics of immersive sound environments. Both studios are equally quiet and highly networked, rewarding audiences and supporting experimentation by artists and researchers alike.

Request a Venue