Revive and retain the arts

By Daily Illini Editorial Board

The arts is a field that has been looked at as nonessential in schooling for years now. It is a field that has struggled to maintain its standards because of financial cuts and students choosing other career paths. This is something that can be seen nationally and throughout all levels of education. On our campus in particular, we pay more attention to our STEM fields, and more specifically, our Engineering programs. But we have previously expressed that the arts carry immense value for students and are something we need to maintain where and when possible.

On our campus in particular, the Krannert Center is the jewel of the performing arts community on campus with six stages, including the Foellinger Great Hall, the Tryon Festival Theatre, the Colwell Playhouse, the Studio Theatre, the amphitheatre and Stage 5. As such, the construction being done to maintain and preserve the building is something that is welcomed and appreciated.

The Krannert Center is in the process of being renovated in an effort to revive the arts at the University. Contrary to what some may think, the exterior of Krannert will not be changed drastically. Instead, the project is aimed at maintaining the building’s structure. A few of the renovations are increasing insulation, as well as putting down new concrete between Krannert’s exterior and interior walls.

Krannert is 45 years old and has become an important icon of the arts on campus. With these new renovations, it is the hope that the building will maintain its iconic status for another 50 years. As the symbol of the arts on campus, there are performances going on almost every day in styles that range from classical ensembles, such as the Jupiter String Quartet, to art exhibits and various types of dancing. In keeping with the idea of reviving the arts, construction will not delay any performances at the Krannert Center.

It is important to maintain the art community on campus. College is a time of exploration that allows students to delve into their interests and even discover things outside of their interests. The arts contribute to how well-rounded students are, and various art programs allow opportunities for students to expand their horizons and look at more interdisciplinary areas of study.

The Krannert Center provides a place for students to experience and explore their own artistic talents, as well as view the creative work of others, and we are excited to see it thrive for another 50 years.