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Krannert Center announces a $30 million fundraising initative

As part of the broader With Illinois campaign, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has announced it’s own fundraising goal of $30 million over five years. “Endow the Dream” will support the funding priorities of “visiting artist fees and programming ($15M), research and the incubation of new artistic work ($5M), education (of both arts and non-arts students) ($5M), and engagement programs and access needs ($5M).” See the press release below for more details:


Endow the Dream

Urbana, IL—Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, a unit of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, announced a five-year, $30 million fundraising initiative at a donor gathering prior to the Thursday, February 1 Marquee performance by world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. To launch this endeavor, which is nested within the university’s “With Illinois” campaign, Krannert Center Director Mike Ross was joined by Lyric Theatre @ Illinois faculty members Julie and Nathan Gunn for a presentation on “The Krannert Center Effect,” which celebrated the profound and lasting impact of the Center’s 50-year history, including its support of the educational missions of and performances by the School of Music, Dance at Illinois, and Illinois Theatre. Advocates and industry colleagues have long observed that the power of the Center’s programming and its values of collaboration, innovation, excellence, and inclusivity stay with university alumni and others who propel the arts as designers, performers, and arts administrators throughout the world; with those who support art-making in their own communities; and with those who use the creativity experienced at Krannert Center to advance other disciplines. The effect also reverberates with the many visiting artists whose research and new work are supported through Urbana-based residencies and performances.

In the mid-1960s, the Center’s inaugural benefactors, philanthropists Herman and Ellnora Krannert, made a $16 million commitment to excellence in the arts with a vision for the future and loyalty to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That gift made manifest what is widely considered to be the nation’s leading university-based performing arts center. Since Krannert Center opened its doors on April 19, 1969, it has welcomed millions of people, including over 350,000 youth series attendees. Each year, the Center hosts 300+ performances, receives approximately 300,000 visitors, and interacts with over 80% of the University of Illinois student body. In 1989, Krannert Center announced the formation of its endowment fund which now represents over $20 million in holdings, providing critical interest income to support the Center’s programming. However, a large percentage of the costs required to present a full spectrum of visiting artists is not covered by the current combination of endowment income, ticket sales, student fees, and grants, leaving a sizable need to ensure the present and future of this vital cultural asset.

The Krannert Center “Endow the Dream” $30 million initiative, in conjunction with the University of Illinois “With Illinois” campaign, will preserve the excellence of this esteemed institution and further strengthen “The Krannert Center Effect” for future generations. Funding priorities will remain focused on visiting artist fees and programming ($15M), research and the incubation of new artistic work ($5M), education (of both arts and non-arts students) ($5M), and engagement programs and access needs ($5M). 

More information is available by contacting Senior Director of Development Deborah Miller at [email protected] or 217.333.1629 or Anthony Pomonis of the University of Illinois Foundation at [email protected] or 217.300.3470.

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