Krannert announces five-year, $30 million fundraising effort

Krannert announces five-year, $30 million fundraising effort

URBANA — Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has announced a five-year, $30 million fundraising initiative.

To launch the initiative, which is nested within the UI's "With Illinois" campaign, Krannert Center Director Mike Ross was joined Thursday by Lyric Theatre at Illinois faculty members Julie and Nathan Gunn for a presentation on "The Krannert Center Effect," which celebrated the lasting impact of the center's 50-year history.

The center supports the educational missions and performances by the School of Music, Dance at Illinois and Illinois Theatre.

According to a press release, "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," it said.

In the 1960s, the inaugural benefactors, philanthropists Herman and Ellnora Krannert, made a $16 million commitment to excellence in the arts here.

Since Krannert Center, considered to be the nation's leading university-based performing-arts center, opened its doors in 1969, it has welcomed millions of people, including over 350,000 youth-series attendees.

Each year, Krannert hosts more than 300 performances, receives about 300,000 visitors and interacts with over 80 percent of the University of Illinois student body, the release said.

In 1989, Krannert announced the formation of its endowment fund, which now represents over $20 million in holdings. 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, the press release said.

Funding priorities remain focused on visiting-artist fees and programming ($15 million); research and the incubation of new artistic work ($5 million); education of both arts and non-arts students ($5 million); and engagement programs and access needs ($5 million).

Information is available by contacting Deborah Miller at or Anthony Pomonis at