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Krannert commemorates 50 years of music, arts

Quiana+Parler+performs+at+Krannert+Center+for+the+Performing+Arts%E2%80%99+Opening+Night+Party%3A+50th+Anniversary+Celebration+Kickoff.+Musician+Charlton+Singeton+also+performed+at+the+party+on+Friday.
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Krannert commemorates 50 years of music, arts

Quiana Parler performs at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff. Musician Charlton Singeton also performed at the party on Friday.

Quiana Parler performs at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff. Musician Charlton Singeton also performed at the party on Friday.

Elisabeth Neely

Quiana Parler performs at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff. Musician Charlton Singeton also performed at the party on Friday.

Elisabeth Neely

Elisabeth Neely

Quiana Parler performs at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff. Musician Charlton Singeton also performed at the party on Friday.

By Zihan Wang, Staff Writer

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts had its Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff Friday, one of many events that will be held this year and in 2019. 

Bridget Lee-Calfas, advertising and publicity director for KCPA, said there would be four big events to celebrate the anniversary in the next two years, including the ELLNORA guitar festival, along with several other public events.

Trumpet musician Charlton Singleton performed at the opening night party. He said he was excited to celebrate a place like KCPA, which has contributed to the community for 50 years.

Singleton said this is the first time he performed at KCPA, and he had an amazing experience.

KCPA opened in April 1969 through a donation by Herman and Ellnora Krannert.

“They really had a clear vision of what the Krannert Center might be and how important the arts could be at a public university, and I do think we’ve been able to fill their vision,” Lee-Calfas said.

Tom Mitchell, professor in FAA, has been working at the University for 36 years. He said throughout his years here, KCPA has improved materials and equipment for props, stages and sets, but he thinks the biggest change is in the programming.

Mitchell said in the past 20 years, KCPA has focused on bringing international performers from around the world to bring variety to the campus.

“Students are coming to this campus from all parts of our country and all parts of the world, and we’re really trying to give everyone a broadened perspective on what culture can mean,” Lee-Calfas said.

Mitchell said many of the staff working at KCPA have also taught in the Department of Theatre. He said it can be difficult to balance the two aspects of their work, but it is worth it.

Mitchell believed both KCPA and the students benefit from this cooperation. He said KCPA benefits from students working as performers and staff, while the students benefit from working directly with theater professionals.

“We always want our students to come with that curious mind and to take some risks,” Lee-Calfas said. “Certainly we want them to seek out those artists that are already their favorites or are already familiar to them, but we also want them to take some chances and discover something new here in Krannert Center.”

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