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Grant Awards

National Endowment for the Arts



Visit Gainesville

City of Gainesville


Alachua County, Florida


City of Gainesville Partnership

Yellow Brick Road, photo by Jessica Hurov Built in 1911, the Hippodrome’s permanent home, the Old Federal Building, is the centerpiece and symbol of the city of Gainesville’s historic downtown district. In 1979, with a Challenge Grant from the NEA, the Hippodrome began a Capital Campaign to restore and convert the facility, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

For 35 years, the Hippodrome has occupied the building thanks to a generous lease grant from the City of Gainesville. During this time, the Hipp has continuously fundraised to maintain and upgrade the facility to increase accessibility to the arts for all, gaining support from the NEA, the Florida Dept. of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Facilities grants, Alachua County’s Destination Enhancement and Tourism Product Development grants, and contributions from a multitude of local businesses.

Before and After renovation

Basement before and after renovation


Today, the Hippodrome is a multi-functional professional theatre complex housing a 268 seat thrust-stage Mainstage, rehearsal hall, costume and scene shop, a 75 seat second stage/digital cinema, art gallery, administrative offices, and a recently-renovated basement venue for use as a multi-purpose performance, event, classroom, and workshop space.

Other upgrades include the installation of an integrated video system that connects all three performance spaces and can be live-streamed on the internet and a hearing loop system in the Mainstage and Cinema. The expansion of the Hippodrome’s spaces has led to increased opportunities for programming, and the Hipp has become the public focal point of culture in the heart of Gainesville’s historic downtown.