Why Do Community Outreach?
Arts make a difference. The EKU Center for the Arts itself exists thanks to a unique collaboration between the university, Madison County, and the cities of Richmond and Berea. The Center has made a major difference when it comes to the quality of life for the people who live here. In addition to world-class entertainment, the Center presents wide-ranging programs to bring a variety of performing arts experiences to Central and Eastern Kentucky. Affordability and access are important. Events generally offer price points to allow anyone an opportunity to attend events. The Center also works with social service organizations to offer free or deeply discounted tickets to selected events to break down those barriers even more.
Our focus on education and outreach also sets us apart. This past year the EKU Center engaged over 13,000 children in our Student Discovery Matinee programs. Ticket prices for those events were dropped this year in order to make the shows more accessible to everyone. We also bring the arts into the community with our artists presenting outreach programs for schools, and educational and community organizations as far away as Clay and Laurel Counties. Pre-show lectures happen at many of our events and master classes are regularly offered for college performing arts students. We also give students a place to perform. EKU performing arts departments and Madison County Schools are invited to use our stages for their events at cost, with no rental rates assessed, giving young musicians an opportunity to perform in a first-class venue, sparking their dreams and ambitions in the arts.
The EKU Center also plays a major role for tourism and economic development. This past season our patrons came from 35 different states and 375 Kentucky communities, contributing over $4 million to the local economy.
Supporting the EKU Center for the Arts makes all of these programs happen. Dollars received are turned around to make more outreach programs available, keep ticket prices low, and bring more benefits to this region.
The EKU Center for the Arts is remarkable. It's a world-class theater that is grand and full of possibility. But it's the heart of what we do, the way we engage and nurture our community that makes us special.