The Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts announced a milestone in free events presented for the community. During the 2016 calendar year, the center hosted 27 free, public events with a total attendance of more than 30,000 patrons.
The center presented three elite military bands plus the popular Canadian Brass. Many other performances were presented by local groups and funded in part by the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation. Free performances funded by the foundation included: Ballet Idaho, Boise Music Week, Boise Philharmonic, Boise Valley Chordsmen, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. Boise State University’s President’s Office, Music Department, Honors College, New Student Programs and others also provided free programs to the community. These statistics do not include the many hundreds of complimentary tickets the Morrison Center and the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation give away through annual outreach efforts to schools, local nonprofits and children and families in need.
“The founders’ of the Morrison Center wanted the center to be the ‘peoples’ theatre,'” said James Patrick, executive director of the Morrison Center. He continued, “2016 provided a wide range of free offerings including classical, big band, jazz, family, lectures and inspirational genres. The Morrison Center and the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation are both having a significant impact on the local arts scene. Since 2011, the endowment has awarded over $2 million and these local grants expand the center’s programming while also providing increased access and opportunity to the facility.”
The Morrison Center Endowment Foundation’s goal is to impact quality performances at Idaho’s premier performing arts center. The Endowment Foundation does this by partnering to underwrite the operating and capital expenses of the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts if needed, subsidizing production costs for Idaho’s local arts groups and sponsoring performances of high-quality national and international artists.
The Morrison Center recently was ranked the number two university venue in the nation for its size by Venues Today Magazine and is consistently ranked in the top 100 theaters for world-wide ticket sales by Pollstar Magazine.