WMU News

Miller receives nearly $25,000 for community programs

Oct. 28, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Miller Auditorium at Western Michigan University is continuing its community and family programs, thanks to support from several local and national organizations.

For the 2003-04 season, Miller Auditorium received grants totally nearly $25,000, including $15,000 from Target Stores of West Michigan and $5,000 from the League of American Theatres and Producers and Theatre Development Fund. Additional grants were received from the Heartland Arts Fund of Kansas City, Mo., and the Plaza Arts Circle of Kalamazoo.

Target is a major supporter of this season's Buster Bronco Family Series at Miller Auditorium, including performances by the Kratt Brothers, Nov. 15; Garfield's Christmas Surprise, Dec. 14; Sing-A-Long Wizard of Oz, Jan. 10; and New Shanghai Circus, March 7. Target's support will be used to provide tickets to at-risk children who might not otherwise be able to attend programs in the Buster Bronco Family Series.

The grant from the League of American Theatres and Producers and Theatre Development Fund will allow 100 at-risk seventh- and eighth-graders to attend a performance of the Broadway touring production of "STOMP" at Miller Auditorium Nov. 7-9. The children selected for the program will attend weekly music classes--primarily in percussion--to foster their creativity and artistic expression. They will create their own pieces to be performed for their peers and also will meet with "STOMP" cast members.

This year marks the first time that Miller Auditorium is among the 10 national recipients of an education grant from the league and Theatre Development Fund. The league is the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry and TDF is the largest not-for-profit service agency for the performing arts. Their partnership on this prestigious program is now in its eighth year and annually awards grants to 10 presenters of touring Broadway shows across the United States for the development or support of educational programs associated with touring programs.

Support from the Heartland Arts Fund and the Plaza Arts Circle is being used for both youth and adult educational outreach programs.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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