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Proposed Fine and Performing Arts Center

People living in the region have long looked to Pittsburg State University for academic programs but also as a cultural hub.  Up until the late 1970s, Pittsburg State was a recognized leader in offering a wide array of arts programming including locally and nationally produced theatrical and musical productions and arts exhibits, as well as lecturers. The university offered performances by such notables as the Jazz Great Duke Ellington, the St. Louis Symphony, and Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader.  That all changed with the demolition in the 1970s of Carney Hall, the site of PSU's only large auditorium.

Since Carney Hall was torn down due to structural problems, the university has offered limited programming on campus in smaller venues or at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium in downtown Pittsburg.  The university's leadership role in the arts has been hampered by the lack of an on-campus facility.

The construction of a fine and performing arts center is one of the major capital improvement projects identified in the Campaign for Pittsburg State University. Plans call for construction of a $30 million facility at the northwest corner of Ford and Homer Streets, or east of the University Lake. This location will provide easy vehicle access and adjacent parking.

In addition to one or more performance auditoriums of varying size, the facility will include an impressive entrance lobby appropriate for receptions and special events, and the necessary support space to accommodate local, regional and national touring productions. 

Since it is unlikely that any state and federal funding will be available for this project, private funding will be needed to make the fine and performing arts center a reality. In July 2008, the University received an anonymous lead gift of $10 million for this project. The university is seeking additional gifts from alumni, friends, foundations, and other entities in support of the project.

This university and the people of this region deserve expanded fine and performing arts programming, which will be made possible with the construction of this proposed Fine and Performing Arts Center.  If you have questions or would like to discuss the proposed facility, contact Ellen Carter, Director of Major Gifts, ecarter@pittstate.edu, at 620-235-4768.