January 15, 2016 11:30AM
As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come.”
That certainly rang true for the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University. More than 66,000 people have attended events at the Bicknell Center since the state-of-the-art facility opened just a little over a year ago.
“Our first year was absolutely phenomenal,” said Joe Firman, director of the Bicknell Center. “We had a feeling that our first year would be successful, but I’m not sure anyone could have dreamed that it would turn out just as it did. It’s been truly incredible to experience.”
Counting rehearsals for various performances, the Bicknell Center was used nearly 600 times during its inaugural year. Many times, it has helped the university make history.
In November, former U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at the Bicknell Center to open the new H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. Clinton’s visit marked the first time in Pitt State history that a former or sitting U.S. president stepped foot on campus.
Also in the fall, the university launched its Best of Broadway Series at the Bicknell Center. The productions for the inaugural series are: “Mamma Mia,” “Million Dollar Quartet” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
In April, former First Lady Laura Bush spoke at the Bicknell Center as part of the university’s Women in Government Lecture Series. And just days before Bush’s visit, the Bicknell Center hosted the popular percussion sensation, STOMP.
“And those are just some of the main highlights,” Firman said. “We’ve also hosted a variety of university choir concerts, local bands, ROTC commissioning ceremonies, legislative town hall meetings, theater productions … the list goes on.”
Also during its inaugural year, the Bicknell Center welcomed Andy Warhol’s “Beethoven, II. 390,” a 1987 serigraph that was a gift to the university from Robert D. and Gwendolyn Tyler.
Future events at the Bicknell Center include performances by Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad, The Band of the Royal Marines And The Pipes, Drums, and Highland Dancers of the Scots Guards, Matthew Mayer Pianist, Josh Thompson Country Star, and Cirque Zuma Zuma.
For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit bicknellcenter.com.