Utah Tech University unveils America First Performing Arts Center

ST. GEORGE, Utah — In appreciation of America First Credit Union’s continued community support, Utah Tech University revealed Friday in a special ceremony that it’s performing arts venue will be named the America First Performing Arts Center after renovations and expansion are completed near the end of 2025.

“Utah Tech University and the entire Southern Utah community are immensely grateful to America First Credit Union for their support,” said Brad Last, the university’s vice president of advancement. “Not only will the completed project draw world-class talent to Washington County, but it will also dramatically enhance the experience for residents and visitors who enjoy entertainment opportunities in the facility.”

America First Credit Union is donating $5 million to the project, which is also funded by a $28 million appropriation from the Utah State Legislature, a $1.3 million contribution from Washington County and many community donors. Highlighting the community partnership making this project possible, the renovated venue will serve as the official home of Southwest Symphony, Southern Utah Heritage Choir and Utah Tech University’s student and professional art programming.

“This newly remodeled facility will provide a forever home for the musical renaissance the Southwest Symphony, Heritage Choir, and University have sparked in the St. George area,” said Tammy Gallegos, EVP and chief strategic engagement officer at America First Credit Union. “Music and the arts bring people together — and America First Credit Union believes strongly in supporting and building community around the things we love, share, and build together.”

Renovations to the arts center include expanding the lobby, rehearsal spaces, box office, concessions and restrooms to accommodate larger audiences and a wider variety of performers. To enhance the audience experience, the plan includes adding a balcony with more seating, center aisles for easier access to seats and event space as well as upgrading lighting, sound and projection equipment throughout the building. Back-of-house renovations include expanding green rooms, make-up rooms and dressing rooms.

Efforts to expand the venue began when the Southern Utah Performing Arts Foundation sought a facility to meet the needs of the Southwest Symphony and Southern Utah Heritage Choir and proposed a partnership with the university.

Completed in 1986, the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center, as the venue is currently named, was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Mervyn K. and Sue Cox and has served the community as a center for performing arts for nearly four decades.

For more information about the renovation project, visit http://supafoundation.com.




Jyl Hall, Utah Tech University Public Relations Director

(435) 652-7547