Since its beginning, Cultural Events Committee membership has enjoyed campus-wide representation with one or more members from each of the University’s colleges. As the committee’s involvement in Miller Auditorium’s programming dissipated, committee membership generally stabilized at one representative from each of several colleges. Evolution to the committee’s mission also reduced the budget which is presently around $11,000 annually.
The current committee chairperson is Kevin West.
A University-wide committee focusing on activities in the visual and performing arts at Western Michigan University dates back to the early 1950s when a Festival of Arts highlighted programming each year including regularly scheduled campus events as well as guest artists.
While Miller Auditorium was under construction in the late 1960s, the University took steps to create its CEC to guide programming for this new facility. An advisory group originally addressed two tasks:
- Function in an advisory capacity to schedule and promote an “international” concert series intended to bring the world’s most outstanding performing artists and ensembles to Miller Auditorium.
- Encourage student involvement in fine arts programming and audience development.
The CEC had a substantial annual budget at the time (approximately $26,000). Most of these funds were used to subsidize student attendance at the new International Concert Series. The committee retained a smaller portion for discretionary use to support other cultural events on the campus.