Friday-Sunday, April 12-14, 2019

Urbana, IL—It’s amazing what can happen when you dream boldly. Fifty years ago, in April 1969, Herman and Ellnora Krannert joined University of Illinois campus leadership; students, staff, and faculty from across campus, including the performing arts at Illinois; and friends from throughout the region and nation to open the doors of this unprecedented facility. Those first moments set into motion decades of extraordinary creativity and impact. The Come Home to Krannert Center weekend, Friday-Sunday, April 12-14, is a time for friends old and new, near and far, to come together in reflection and revelry, celebrating all that has led to this moment in Krannert Center’s history.

Patrons can register now for the Come Home weekend, a centerpiece of Krannert Center’s two-season 50th-anniversary festivities, and are encouraged to contribute to the “Share Your Story” campaign at



10am to noon and 1pm to 2pm (observation): Forum on the Future of Performing Arts in Higher Education

Colwell Playhouse, free Invited guests both local and national will convene on the stage of the Colwell Playhouse for a series of moderated conversations about the future of the performing arts in higher education, inspired by five decades of “the Krannert Center Effect.” Observers are welcome in the audience area of the Playhouse to hear and watch this dialogue, which will explore visions for the future for university-centered arts practitioners, their venues, and their institutions. Observers may come and go quietly at appropriate times.

3:30pm: Panel discussion: “The Miracle on the Prairie”—The Genesis and Structure of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Colwell Playhouse, free

This engaging look at the history of the facility will be co-hosted by former Krannert Center Senior Associate Director Rebecca McBride and former Technical Director Tom Korder and will feature

archival images and original blueprints dating back to the inception of the Center.

5pm to 7pm: Casual Welcome Gathering

Stage 5, cash bar and food available for purchase

Guests are encouraged to use this informal meet up time to reconnect.


9am to 12pm: Krannert Center Open House, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Meet in the Lobby, free

(Intermezzo cafe and Promenade Showcase + Gift Shop will be open throughout the morning)

Join the Center for a special event featuring guided tours, open rehearsals, special displays, ongoing research, artists from Dance at Illinois, Illinois Theatre, and Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, and a look behind-the-scenes at this extraordinary facility.

2pm to 3pm: Richmond Family Welcome Gallery Tour

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana (directly east of Krannert Center), free Join the University of Illinois Alumni Alliance for a tour of the newly opened Richmond Family Welcome Gallery on the first floor of the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. This experiential showcase celebrates the magnificent history, traditions, and innovations of the University of Illinois and also features a Memory Space where visitors are encouraged to capture their Krannert Center memories for future inclusion in the exhibit.

6pm: The Come Home Gala

Lobby, free (Music starts at 6pm, formal remarks at 7pm, dancing at 7:30pm)

Festive attire encouraged; black tie optional

This centerpiece event will be a grand celebration of the five decades of impact that first began when the Center opened in April of 1969. Join Krannert Center director Mike Ross, University of Illinois leadership, representatives from Dance at Illinois, Illinois Theatre, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, and other special guests for an evening featuring historic displays, a patron-populated timeline exhibit, onsite screen printing with Weiskamp, and more. Musical performances will begin at 6pm with complimentary appetizers and cash bar available. At 7pm, formal remarks will be presented, followed by a performance by ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival alum Steve Dawson and the School of Music’s Jupiter String Quartet, set to a beautiful video of images from throughout the Center’s many eras. The formal presentation will finish with a global toast moment. DJ music and dancing will follow.


3pm: Krannert Center Debut Artist recital Foellinger Great Hall, $10-$55 Tickets can be purchased online at

School of Music student Wilson Poffenberger, saxophone, was chosen by audition to be featured in this professional recital. He is joined by pianist Casey Gene Dierlam.

Please visit for additional information on registration, ticket purchases, hotel accommodations, and more.