Young auditorium awarded Wisconsin grant

Young Auditorium was awarded a significant state grant in September that will be used for the current 2011-2012 season.

“Of all the grants we apply for every year the Wisconsin Arts Board is the most prestigious and difficult,” Senior Development Specialist and Assistant Director Ben Strand said.

The sum of the Wisconsin Arts Board Creation and Presentation Program Grant totals $6,766.

The grant will help guarantee financial support for the current season and help with other budgeting issues. This particular grant is designated for non-profit arts groups that have a presenting program.

Two of the main architects in the application process were Strand and Director Ken Kohberger. In applying for this grant in February, the Young Auditorium competed against performing arts centers that were in larger markets throughout the state.

“We really owe it to the partnerships; we’ve been able to grow across the campus and community,” Strand said.

The grant will also help the five and 10 year strategic plans that the Young Auditorium has formed.

Their strategic plan’s purpose was put into place to help support and maintain the services that they provide. It also allows the monitoring of what other organizations are achieving and building upon them.

Though the grant does not focus on a specific department on campus, it will provide significant financial help for performances that travel to Whitewater and the Young Auditorium.

“Without this sort of underwriting from grant sources, some performances probably wouldn’t even come to Whitewater,” Strand said.

The Young Auditorium is an auxiliary of UW-Whitewater and has been since its ground breaking in 1991. Therefore, it is a yearly priority for the auditorium to have a complete budget and bring a wide variety of entertainment to the campus.

One of the main problems with Young Auditorium, according to theatre major Marcus Cunningham, is that the prices are just too high.

“I know a lot of students that want to go to certain programs,” Cunningham said about ticket prices. “But they always say, ‘oh but it’s at Young.’”

However, the new grant will definitely help with ticket prices according to Strand. The money will be distributed in order to help underwrite issues such as prices.

When presentations come to Young Auditorium some of their performers hold workshops for theatre department students according to Cunningham. This is a big help to the department and the advancement of the students themselves.

“I think the main thing Young does is help the Center of the Arts,” Cunningham said. “It is also a great place to hold presentations for things such as Plan-It-Purple.”