Fifty Remarkable Years
John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium 1964-2014
Some stories are a joy to share. The creation of the Emens College-Community Auditorium is one of those. It is really not my story but more accurately tells the saga of a need, a visionary, and a supportive community. In many ways this place is the shining example of what can be achieved when the people of Ball State University and Muncie join forces for positive change.
It started with a dynamic leader, President John R. Emens, who had the foresight to recognize that this growing campus as well as our city would benefit if a performance venue could be conceived and developed. This concert hall would be a home to the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. This state of the art performance venue would host national and international artists, Broadway productions, dance companies, and major speakers and serve as a convocation center for many university functions.
The sum of $3 million was needed to fulfill the vision, and the university could fund only one half of that figure. The community rose to the occasion, pledging more than $1.5 million to this endeavor. I am told that the fund drive to build Emens Auditorium was the very first capital campaign for Ball State University. Without this outpouring of support from businesses, organizations, and individuals, the dream would not have become a reality.
This show place has functioned as a cultural epicenter, where great performances and convocations regularly occur. The presence of a venue that can host world-renowned talent changes the equation regarding the local quality of life, as well as provides a positive economic impact for our community.
The rest of our story is still to be written. We envision Emens Auditorium touching the lives of every person in Delaware County, anticipate that this facility and the efforts of the staff will further expand cultural opportunities and enhance the learning environment for students at Ball State University. The prospect of commissioning new work and extended residency activity of artists could have tremendous impact for both the campus and community. We aim to build upon the tradition of the first half a century and facilitate growth in a program that Muncie continues to cherish. We welcome you to celebrate with us as we embark on our 50th season.
--Robert Myers, Director
The work of Julie Borden features compelling expressions of color. This stunning “painted” violin (cover) hints at a fascinating dichotomy of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary art. One can imagine the contrast of classical music to pop culture as well. The rich juxtaposition is symbolic of my programmatic objective. We aspire to present a diverse array of live cultural experiences intended to match the varied preferences of our patrons. In this our 50th season, the painted violin personifies the diversity of performance characteristic of Emens Auditorium.
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