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Come Home to Krannert Center: A 50th-Anniversary Weekend

Join us—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)*
3:30pm: Panel discussion: “The Miracle on the Prairie”—The Genesis and Structure of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts*
5pm to 7pm: Casual Welcome Gathering**
Evening: Informal social time on the town

Saturday, April 13

9am to 12pm: Krannert Center Open House*
2pm to 3pm: Richmond Family Welcome Gallery Tour*
6pm: The Come Home Gala, including remarks and a global toast**

Sunday, April 14

3pm: Krannert Center Debut Artist recital***

Details below!


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.

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*
Krannert Center was unprecedented in scope and scale. This engaging discussion, featuring former Krannert Center Senior Associate Director Rebecca McBride, former Technical Director Tom Korder, former Lighting Director Ray Caton, former Alumni Association CEO Jim Vermette, and others, provides a look at the facility’s history through behind-the-scenes stories and archival images.
5pm to 7pm: Casual Welcome Gathering, Stage 5**
This informal meet-up time is a great chance to reconnect and converse. There will be a cash bar and food available for purchase.
Evening: Informal social time on the town

Saturday, April 13

9am to 12pm: Krannert Center Open House, Lobby*
With Dance at Illinois, Illinois Theatre, and Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Krannert Center presents guided tours, open rehearsals, and special displays including a look at research during this behind-the-scenes experience. Intermezzo cafe and Promenade Showcase + Gift Shop will be open throughout the morning.
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 and also features a Memory Space where visitors are encouraged to capture their Krannert Center memories for future inclusion in the exhibit.
6pm: The Come Home Gala, including performances, remarks, and a global toast, Lobby**
This event will feature formal remarks by leadership followed by a performance of an original composition by ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival alum Steve Dawson, performed by Dawson and the School of Music’s Jupiter String Quartet and complemented by a slideshow of Krannert Center images. The formal presentation will finish with a “global toast”—both on-site and by friends around the world—via social media using #KrannertCenterat50. DJ and dancing will follow, festive attire encouraged!
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.

When booking over the phone, please mention Krannert Center’s 50th anniversary to secure the best rate.

Visit Champaign County provides more information on lodging, dining, and other items of interest.

With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks the following Come Home sponsors.

  • News-Gazette Media | An Independent local media company owned by Marajen Stevick Foundation
  • Allan & Pat Tuchman
  • Midwest Event Solutions, LLC
  • Michaels’ Catering, LLC
  • Premier Print Group
  • Norman Beamer & Diane Tasca
  • Sun Singer Restaurant and Wine Bar
  • Blossom Basket Florist
  • Weiskamp Screen Printing

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please join these sponsors by making an anniversary gift at go.krannertcenter.com/givingweekend.

Event Details

Fr Apr 12, 2019 - 10:00am
Fr Apr 12, 2019 - 1:00pm
Fr Apr 12, 2019 - 3:30pm
Fr Apr 12, 2019 - 5:00pm
Sa Apr 13, 2019 - 9:00am
Sa Apr 13, 2019 - 2:00pm
Sa Apr 13, 2019 - 6:00pm
Su Apr 14, 2019 - 3:00pm
Most events are free.

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