Spotlight shines brightly on Weidner Center’s future

Chancellor Thomas K. Harden, Weidner Center meetingThe UW-Green Bay campus and greater Green Bay community have embraced plans to reinvigorate the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, responding with interest and enthusiasm to calls for feedback and the presentation of a vision for the signature venue’s future.

Chancellor Thomas K. Harden on Dec. 1 and 2 presented elements of a draft strategic plan proposal to key campus and community stakeholders during a series of meetings at the facility. Joined by consultant Steve Carignan of the Gallagher Bluedorn Center at the University of Northern Iowa, Harden outlined UW-Green Bay’s vision for programming, budgetary support and staffing at the Weidner, among other areas of interest.

The kinds of things people want to see here are changing,” Harden said, introducing a plan for a diverse array of programming at the center, “just as the community itself is changing.”

The draft proposal calls for a 14- to 18-performance 2012-13 lineup, including two Broadway shows, as well as facilitating increased access to the venue for UW-Green Bay and community audiences. It also outlines a 5-year budget plan that draws on ticket sales, philanthropy and University support to keep the Weidner profitable, as well as a tentative staffing plan that would add an executive director, among other key individuals — eight full-time positions by 2015 — beginning this spring.

Weidner Center, strategic plan meeting

Campus and community members aren’t the only ones taking notice of plans for the Weidner Center, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013. Local media also have taken an interest, with the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper, all four Green Bay-area television stations and two local radio stations covering the outline for the Weidner’s future.

University news bureau coverage can be found here.