Peterson Fine Arts Renovation
The renovation of the Peterson Fine Arts facility at Wayne State College is about more than a building. It’s about providing facilities to match the excellence in our programs and set the stage for future generations of student musicians. It’s where we harness the power of music to help students grow, succeed, and transform as individuals. It’s about creating a centerpiece of cultural enrichment for our region and community.
Impacting Student Success
Music participation helps students of all majors achieve personal growth and academic success. The Department of Music helps students hone skills in creativity, passion, and leadership, which will serve them well in their careers.
- WSC students who participate in a performing ensemble are approximately 15% more likely to complete their degree.
- Approximately 200 students from 60 different majors participated in one or more of the music ensembles at WSC during the Fall 2019 semester. They come from 95 counties in Nebraska as well as South Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Island of Curacao.
- 94 WSC music alumni were employed as teachers in 66 different towns and cities throughout Nebraska.
Growing Quality Programs
The Department of Music includes majors in Music Education (Vocal or Vocal and Instrumental), Music Industry, Music Performance, and General Music, as well as a minor in music. The Peterson Fine Arts building provides a home for a robust and dynamic department that has experienced tremendous growth. A renovated facility will support this growth and also ensure sustained quality of our programs.
- The Department of Music houses approximately 100 music majors and minors and 13 different performance groups.
- The department has grown by more than 50% in the last 15 years.
Sustaining Cultural Opportunities
The Peterson Fine Arts Building brings culture to our campus, community, and region. With programming that includes performances in theatre, music, and dance by national touring companies, regional artists, and our own faculty and students, Wayne State College provides more than 100 annual performances free of charge to our faculty, staff, students, and surrounding communities.
- Attendees of Wayne State’s Black and Gold Performing Arts events include students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, donors, and community members, representing approximately 12 states, with the majority of patrons from Nebraska.
The Renovation and Addition
The Peterson Fine Arts building was constructed in 1963, and the Lied Addition for the Theatre program was added in 2001. The infrastructure of the building has remained relatively unchanged to this day, although standards for acoustics and accessibility have changed significantly. The improvements proposed in this $11.9 million renovation and addition will attract high-quality student and professional artists, and will make it possible for our performing arts programs to meet current industry standards for acoustics and accessibility.
- New rehearsal spaces for the bands and choirs that will include ample space, professional acoustics, natural light, and will be easily accessible on the main level
- Improved acoustics in all practice rooms and teaching studios, making them safer for performers
- Upgrades to Ramsey Theatre to support larger acts and productions
- Improved accessibility with a new central elevator, a ramp to the Ramsey stage, a family restroom, and additional seating for spectators with mobility limitations
- Ample student work, study, and practice space for collaboration and conversation
- An expanded atrium for receptions and public gatherings
If you would like more information about the renovation of the Peterson Fine Arts Facility, or to donate to the project, please contact the Wayne State Foundation’s Peterson Fine Arts Renovation Committee.
“The Wayne State College Department of Music has allowed me to grow as a musician and future educator. This has been done through the phenomenal faculty and staff who are devoted to ensuring that students receive the best possible education before graduation. Not only has my education at Wayne State allowed me to feel ready to take on the challenge of becoming a music educator, but it has also allowed me to make connections to current educators whom I can lean on for support and encouragement once I enter the field. The Department of Music at Wayne State will always be a place that I remember being full of fun, learning, and wonderful music making, and I am so grateful to be part of the Wildcat family.” - Micah Schut, Music Education, Class of 2021
“The advantages to having superior facilities for rehearsing and performing music cannot be overstated. Not only do they keep participants safe by conforming to national standards for hearing health, but they also play a significant role in recruiting and retaining quality students and elevating the performance level of our student musicians. As one of the most active facilities on campus, the Peterson Fine Arts Building regularly brings students, faculty, staff, and the community together in exploring the arts at WSC.” - Dr. David Bohnert, Professor and Chair, Department of Music