For more than thirty years, Wharton Center for Performing Arts has been in the business of changing lives. Founded in the belief that the arts are a powerful force for exploring our common humanity and embracing cultural, economic, geographic, and social differences, Wharton Center fosters mutual understanding, insight into our place in society, and how we can be better people and contribute to the world in which we live.
In addition to presenting world-class artists, Wharton Center acts as a catalyst for creativity in mid-Michigan and beyond. The campaign will support our work to celebrate different cultures and points of view, challenge people to think in new ways, and cultivate the next generation of creative, innovative thinkers through arts education. Read more about the Wharton Center for Performing Art’s priorities.
The Wharton Center for Performing Arts seeks to raise $20.2 million in the Empower Extraordinary campaign. We will achieve this goal with a mix of endowment and annual funds.
To date we have raised $19.6 million, but more private support is needed to achieve our full potential and propel this great university forward.
“Now more than ever the arts matter. The arts are central to our nation’s civic, economic, and cultural vitality. The arts reflect who we are and what we stand for—freedom of expression, imagination, and vision. Arts education is indispensable to raising America’s next generation of creative, innovative thinkers.”
The power of the arts to change lives is limited only by the opportunity to engage with them. The arts have the power to teach, to inspire, to unify, and truly transform individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Time and time again, research shows that young people who are engaged in the arts achieve more in school and become involved in their communities. Wharton Center is dedicated to making the performing arts accessible to audiences and students of all ages and economic means.
Creativity at Wharton Center is defined by how we collaborate with the many world-renowned performers who grace our stages in artistic discovery and education. Our performers serve as teaching artists in classrooms, as champions of the creative process, and as innovative partners in the co-creation of new work and new ways of expressing ourselves and the world in which we live. This kind of creative thought and expression happens in all of the venues managed by Wharton Center on the campus of MSU and in communities throughout the state.
Wharton Center enriches the Michigan community culturally and economically, helping us prosper as a great place to live, work, and play. The performances we present—music, theater, dance—gather people from all walks of life together as a collective audience, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation of different points of view. We learn about ourselves and our neighbors; we are moved to tears of sadness and joy; we recognize our diversity—in Michigan, in the country, and in the world—for the strength that it is. Wharton Center is truly a place to see the community come together and enjoy the powerful synergy that the performing arts offer between artists, patrons, staff, and volunteers.