Wharton Center Partners With Broadway Grand Rapids To Expand Art Offerings

Michigan State University (MSU)’s Wharton Center for Performing Arts is partnering with Broadway Grand Rapids in a move designed to bring the best of Broadway and arts education programs to West Michigan, says Kent Love of Wharton.
It is one step in many to advance the center’s mission to serve as a statewide cultural resource for performing arts entertainment and arts education programs, he says.

Wharton Center has signed a management agreement to coordinate the day-to-day operations of the 21-year-old Grand Rapids organization, which presents and promotes touring Broadway productions at DeVos Performance Hall.
Starting with the 2010-11 season, Wharton Center will book and contract the annual Broadway series, supervise show marketing, coordinate production needs and present arts education programs through its MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts and Creativity.

“Wharton Center’s mission is to serve as a leading resource for renowned arts entertainment and education programs,” says Mike Brand, executive director of Wharton Center.

Prior to the agreement, Wharton Center staff was assisting Broadway Grand Rapids with marketing for the 2009-10 Broadway series to help increase subscriptions and single-ticket sales, Brand explains.

The current staff and board of directors of Broadway Grand Rapids will remain to work closely with the Wharton Center team.

In addition to managing the Broadway series, Wharton Center’s MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts and Creativity, in its second year, will engage the West Michigan community with arts education programs such as artist residency workshops and possible pilot partnerships with schools.

“There is clearly a need to expand arts education in our state, and the institute welcomes the opportunity to use its resources to integrate the arts and academics for a statewide audience,” Brand says. 

Source: Kent Love, Wharton Center

Gretchen Cochran, Innovation & Jobs editor, may be reached here.
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