As part of its Power of Penn Performing Arts Campaign, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is debuting its vision for the performing arts at Penn in cities around the country and across the globe. Next stop: Chicago, on October 6, 2019.
The Center’s Executive and Artistic Director, Christopher Gruits, has already taken the roadshow to two cities this year—Delray Beach, Florida, and Los Angeles, California—where he held events with Center Overseer Rick, W’74, and Merry Feintuch, W’74, and Center Overseer Julie, C’79, PAR’21, and Marc Platt, C’79, PAR’21. Guests in Florida were treated to music from a faculty-student jazz trio, and in California, the a cappella group Counterparts provided the entertainment.
“Singing, acting, directing, and producing shows were central to our experience at Penn. Quite literally, it shaped the trajectory of Marc’s career,” Julie Platt shares. “Our son Henry, who is currently at Penn, has also found his community in the arts. We are thrilled to support Christopher and the new expanded vision for performing arts at Penn.”
The roadshow is more than just a showcase for great entertainment from Penn’s talented musicians and singers; it’s about rekindling connections and inspiring alumni with a bold vision for Annenberg’s future. “The highlight for me,” Gruits says, “is seeing how the roadshow brings together current and past students with a love for the performing arts. It’s such a great way to reconnect.”
Reconnections are a major part of the Center’s new vision for enhancing alumni engagement. Recently, there has been a groundswell of new support over the past few years, which has come largely from increased alumni awareness of the breadth and depth of student involvement.
“So many undergraduates are engaged with the arts, and it’s a big part of the memories they take with them,” Gruits says. As the Annenberg Center experiences a critical moment of growth and renewal, its distinctive programming blend of music, dance, theater, and now film is impacting students in new ways. “When alumni see that in action through the roadshow, it reminds them of what makes a Penn education so special in the first place.”
The Chicago campaign stop on October 6 will take place at the home of Overseer and Trustee Lynn Jerath, W’95. “I am delighted to host this event, as the performing arts were transformational to my Penn experience. It is so exciting to see the creative culture on our campus grow, and engaging with the arts is such a rewarding way for alumni to connect back,” says Jerath. “Raising the profile of performing arts at Penn is essential to our future, as we compete for the best and the brightest amongst our peer institutions.”
If you are interested in attending the October 6 event in Chicago, call 215-898-6754.