It’s amazing what can happen when you dream boldly. Fifty years ago, in April 1969, Herman and Ellnora Krannert joined University of Illinois campus leadership; students, staff, and faculty from across campus, including the performing arts at Illinois; and friends from throughout the region and nation to open the doors of this unprecedented facility. Those first moments set in motion decades of extraordinary creativity and impact. This weekend is a time for friends old and new, near and far, to come together in reflection and revelry, celebrating all that has led to this moment in Krannert Center’s history.
Register now—and help spread the word—for this Come Home weekend, a centerpiece of Krannert Center’s two-season 50th-anniversary festivities. Events include:
Friday, April 12
10am to noon and 1pm to 2pm: Forum on the Future of Performing Arts in Higher Education (observation), Colwell Playhouse*
Invited guests both local and national will convene on the stage of the Colwell Playhouse for a series of moderated conversations about the future of the performing arts in higher education, inspired by five decades of “the Krannert Center Effect.” Observers are welcome in the audience area of the Playhouse to hear and watch this dialogue, which will explore visions for the future for university-centered arts practitioners, their venues, and their institutions. Observers may come and go quietly at appropriate times.
3:30pm: Panel discussion: “The Miracle on the Prairie”—The Genesis and Structure of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Colwell Playhouse*
5pm to 7pm: Casual Welcome Gathering, Stage 5**
Evening: Informal social time on the town
Saturday, April 13
9am to 12pm: Krannert Center Open House, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts*
2pm to 3pm: Richmond Family Welcome Gallery Tour, 601 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana (directly east of Krannert Center)*
Join the University of Illinois Alumni Alliance for a tour of the newly opened Richmond Family Welcome Gallery on the first floor of the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. This experiential showcase celebrates the magnificent history, traditions, and innovations of the University of Illinois.
6pm: The Come Home Gala, including remarks and a global toast, Lobby**
Festive attire; black tie optional (dress to the nines in whatever that means to you)
Sunday, April 14
3pm: Krannert Center Debut Artist recital***
School of Music student Wilson Poffenberger, saxophone, was chosen by audition to be featured in this professional recital. He is joined by pianist Casey Gene Dierlam.
*Free, no tickets required
**Free, no tickets required; cash bar
***Ticket purchase required
Do you have a story to share about your own history with Krannert Center? We’d love to hear it. Please consider participating in our story collection.
With both Krannert Center’s 50th-Anniversary Celebration and the 21st Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (Eberfest), it’s a wonderful weekend to be in Champaign-Urbana. If you are traveling from out of town, reserve your hotel stay with these Krannert Center sponsors who are offering special rates for the weekend. Held dates vary among the hotels.
- Eastland Suites, 1907 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana; 217.367.8331
- Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign; 217.352.9970
- Home2 Suites by Hilton, 2013 S. Neil St., Champaign; 217.355.6468
- Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1417 S. Neil St., Champaign; 217.352.9960
- I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., Champaign; 217.819.5000
The group booking code is KRANNERT50.
- Illini Union Hotel, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana; 217.333.1241
The group booking code is Kran50.
Visit Champaign County provides more information on lodging, dining, and other items of interest.
Join Krannert Center and With Illinois—the University of Illinois’ most ambitious campaign ever—in this five-year campaign to increase the Center’s endowment fund by $30 million. Accomplishing this goal will provide for the long-range funding of artist fees, the professional training and cultural experience of arts and non-arts majors, creative research and the development of new work, and engagement and access programs. Make your immediate donation today, or learn more about Endow the Dream.