EMPAC stands for Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center and is located at the heart of a famous Hudson Valley university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The institute is the oldest technological research university in America being founded in 1824 and is considered the first school of science and civil engineering with a continuous existence, established in any English-speaking country. For their student and faculty as well for many aspirants who want to be admitted there, it is known as RPI.
About 17 years ago the school decided to build a unique space of remarkable architecture and flexible spaces for performances retrofitted with the highest technology available at the time in media and communication. The space was planned to be offered to artists in residence to create whatever their mind would imagine. This is the way EMPAC came about, with a concert hall, a theater, two remarkable studios one being completely floated, and several labs, all venues having a remarkable noise abatement treatment that keep the noise at an incredible low level. The place was built with a generous donation offered by an alumni of the Institute who was the creator of the first PC graphic processor and became later on one of the founders of the famous NVIDIA company, Curtis Priem, whom the building is dedicated to.