The Martens Center in north Champaign recently received a generous donation, as reported by the News-Gazette, from former Champaign Park District commissioner James Barham, allowing them to furnish their music studio with new equipment from Sweetwater and The Upper Bout. The 27 pieces of equipment include a Breedlove acoustic guitar, a Music Man Sterling bass guitar, an Epiphone SG electric guitar, and two amplifiers, as well as monitors, microphones, cables, and accessories.
The donation aims to enhance the facility’s offerings and showcase the Champaign Park District’s commitment to the community. Barham collaborated with local musician Ryan Groff, who helped design the music room.
The music studio is part of the 40,000-plus-square-foot facility that opened in October 2022, which also features a gymnasium, a three-lane indoor track, an outdoor basketball court, and a wellness center. The center’s instructors have expressed their excitement over the new equipment, and the park district is eager to support the local music scene and foster more interest in their newly equipped studio.