U of I performing arts center to mark 50th anniversary

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – One of the nation’s most acclaimed university-based performing arts facilities is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

It’s the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. It’ll mark the anniversary over two concert seasons starting in September. Director Mike Ross tells U of I’s news bureau it’ll be a celebration of the past but also “a springboard” propelling the center into the future.

It opened in April 1969. It cost about $21 million to build. The bureau says replacement costs today would be around $300 million.

Scheduled performers over the two seasons include violinist Itzhak Perlman, jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Russian National Ballet Theatre and the Mark Morris Dance Group performing a tribute to the Beatle’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”