Engagement Work Fosters Creativity and Community
A core part of Krannert Center’s mission is to engage the community through workshops, events, and resource sharing that enables long-term community building through the arts. In recent years, the Center’s engagement team has worked with diverse groups including dual-language school programs, first-generation University of Illinois students, at-risk youth, community arts educators, and more. Partnerships have been developed in communities like the Old King’s Orchard (OKO) neighborhood in Decatur, where issues of violence and poverty have been addressed through art; through the Champaign County Community Coalition to explore local concerns; and at Wiley Elementary School, whose fourth- and fifth-graders have gone behind-the-scenes at Krannert Center to learn about theatrical magic-making. Krannert Center has also collaborated with programs at Lincoln’s ChalleNGe, the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Banks Bridgewater Lewis Fine Arts Academy, Bethel A.M.E. Church, Cunningham Children’s Home, and in assisted living facilities, classrooms, rehearsal halls, and public spaces throughout East Central Illinois. In each of these collaborations, Krannert Center seeks to provide the arts as a resource to support ongoing work, to spark public discourse and personal reflection, to foster diverse artistry, and to connect people with the life-affirming power of live performance.