New to Campus? Find Yourself at Krannert Center!

Hello, everyone!

My name is Josh Brickman, and today I have the great honor of blogging on behalf of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts! Although my major is civil engineering, that’s just an excuse to play with bigger Legos and do harder math for a career. My passion has always been music. I’ve been playing piano since I was 5, playing saxophone since I was 10, and rapping since I was 15.

I first discovered Krannert Center during a high school band trip to the U of I. Something about its atmosphere captivated me, and when I learned of the caliber of artists and shows that appeared at Krannert Center, I was blown away that such a powerful cultural community could exist at a university. Lo and behold, I ended up at the U of I. Upon my arrival as a college student, my first stop (after dropping off my stuff at my dorm, of course) was Krannert Center. No joke. I walked over, picked up a season book, grabbed every brochure possible, and asked how to get involved.

That was three years ago, and ever since, I’ve considered Krannert Center my second home. From the performances to the volunteer opportunities to the atmosphere–everything about Krannert Center is simply magnificent. As my final year at the U of I approaches, I’ve decided to make it my mission to spread the word about Krannert Center to the masses. Why have I taken up this cause? Because I talk with so many people who always tell me the same story: “Krannert Center? Yeah, I’ve never been there. I hear it’s really cool, though. I’ll go at some point…”

Well, I don’t want you to become one of those people. Whether you are a jock, a thespian, a history buff, or any identity in between, Krannert Center can feel like home for you. Need proof?

For those of you with athletic interests? Last season, Krannert Center had The Baseball Music Project, showcasing music from over a century of baseball history, and during that whole time the Cubs still haven’t won a world series…

Theatre? There was Don Quixote and Man of La Mancha last year, Cabaret is this year, and a host of Shakespeare and other famous plays came in between!

Your academic pursuits, from history to physics, could be encompassed by the show The Miles Davis Experience or QED, a play about the famous physicist Richard Feynman.

Music interests? How about the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last year and the world-renowned Vienna Symphony Orchestra this year?

Movies? You could see Mandy Patinkin, a Tony Award-winning singer who is probably most famous for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.

There are over 300 performances and events at Krannert Center every year, and each event is of the highest quality and is incredibly fulfilling. And from even those few shows that I mentioned, it’s clear that Krannert Center has something to offer everyone, because it is everyone.

Yet, the Center can’t go on being everyone without every one of you. To make good things happen, to make Krannert Center happen, people need to contribute—and there are an incredible number of ways for anyone to help.

You can join KCSA, the Krannert Center Student Association, and serve as a volunteer, work on event planning for student festivals, help market events and major shows, and learn great leadership skills in the process. Did I mention that everyone in KCSA gets to attend shows for free as part of their volunteering? I mean, student tickets are cheap (only 10 dollars), but imagine what happens if you drop the one. Yeah, zero dollars.

And I haven’t even mentioned the easiest way to contribute to Krannert Center: you can simply show up.

Stop by for a quick bite at the Intermezzo cafe, grab your significant other a beautiful gift from The Promenade, or—what I think is the most fun—show up and see a performance. Besides the world-class performing artists that travel here, you can also support your friends in the School of Music, the Department of Theatre, Dance at Illinois, and student groups from across campus.

Grab 10 friends or come alone. It doesn’t matter how you get here—just get here. Thank you, and good luck with your experiences at the University of Illinois!

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