Philanthropy fuels a much-needed expansion and update to McCain Auditorium.
A true gem! That’s how many in the Kansas State University and Manhattan community refer to McCain Auditorium. Since 1970, McCain Auditorium has hosted music, theater and dance performances from around the world, bringing a variety of cultural experiences to K-State students and the greater Manhattan community. Now, to better serve its patrons, Todd Holmberg, executive director of McCain Auditorium, and the KSU Foundation are working to raise funds for a necessary expansion of the facility.
“We haven’t seen any updates since McCain was built in 1970, and back then, arts organizations thought differently about their interactions with patrons than we think now,” Holmberg said. “Now we think about how we can further engage the public beyond what they see on stage.”
The expansion will add onto the lobby, providing a modern and inviting entry, more accessible spaces and much-needed patron amenities. In addition, the expanded lobby will provide a space for collaborative arts education and other campus and community engagement activities.
“There are all types of missed opportunities when an artist comes to town because we lack the space to put them together with the campus and community members in an enriching setting that’s not related to the performance,” Holmberg said. “Enhancing McCain Auditorium will give us more of a chance to provide enriching activities to K-State students so they can deepen their learning and discover new ways of thinking about their studies or issues. It will give us the space to engage with community members of all ages and backgrounds, more than we’re doing now.”
Providing enriching programs for the state’s elementary and middle school students is one McCain program that would benefit from the expansion. That’s just one of the many reasons Janice and Leland Reitz have invested in the McCain expansion.
“I help when the grade school and middle school children come to McCain,” Janice said. “It’s just amazing to see their faces and hear their comments when they come into the venue. For many of them, this is their first experience with the arts. It is fun to see how awed they are by it and how engaged they are by the performance. We need to continue to do the educational outreach and expose children to the arts.”
The arts, brought to K-State and the Manhattan community through the McCain Performance Series, cross all boundaries — language, cultural, educational, age, social — and bring a community together. Gifts from Joann Goldstein of Manhattan, Kansas, and the Jack Goldstein Community Fund, through the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, have given significant gifts to the $6 million project, bringing it closer to reality. Joann sees her gift not only as a way to support the arts, but as an investment in the community.
“The arts are such a vital part of civilization,” Joann said. “I think everyone needs to support McCain because it’s part of our community. I can’t imagine what Manhattan would be like without it.”
More than half of the necessary funds have been raised so far. Once the full $6 million is raised or pledged, the expansion project will begin. Plans are to break ground in the summer of 2019.
To be a part of the McCain expansion project, please contact Tracy Robinson at the KSU Foundation at 785-775-2089.
We are very appreciative of the generous donors who have invested in the project so far. Major investors who have contributed $25,000 or more include:
Bruce and Jan Adams
Kyle and Gail Antenen
Alan and Karen Bell
Steve and Deloris Berland
Dan and Beth Bird
Jerry and Barbara Boettcher
Melvin and Donna Dee Chastain
Terry and Tara Cupps
Joe and Nancy Farrar
Greater Manhattan Community Foundation (Jack Goldstein Community Fund)
Chuck and Susie Grier
Pat and Rita Keating
Terry and Val Kershner
Jerry and Linda Kuckelman
Kathleen and Roger Lanksbury
Jim and Sally Lindquist
David and Mary Jo Nelson
Eric and Amanda Purdom
Leland and Janice Reitz
Verlyn Richards and Gene Laughlin
The Stolzer Family Foundation
John and Cheryl Walters
David and Mindy Weaver
Warren and Carol Weibert
Don and Jan Wissman
Kris and Meg Yaege