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Jeanne Gardner Black & Gold Performing Arts Endowment

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Mission Statement

The Wayne State College Black & Gold Performing Arts Series serves to enlighten, educate, and entertain Northeast Nebraska audiences through exceptional music, dance, and theatrical programming.


For more than 50 years, the Wayne State College Black & Gold Performing Arts Series has presented cultural programming to serve the Northeast Nebraska region. Annually presenting full-scale opera and theatre productions, dance performances, orchestras, Emmy-winning actors, and the annual President's Holiday Gala Concert, the series strives to enlighten, educate and entertain. All performances of the series take place in the 700-seat Ramsey Theatre of the Lied Performing Arts Center.

The Jeanne Gardner Black & Gold Performing Arts Endowment, which has reached $500,000, is named so because Gardner was a champion of the arts, and this initiative honors her and the legacy she left with our campus and Northeast Nebraska. The endowment will secure funding in perpetuity for annual shows that include full-scale opera and theatre productions, dance performances, orchestras, chamber music and award-winning actors. Previous Black & Gold Series performances include: the Russian Ballet, Chinese Acrobats, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, The Mitchell-Ruff Duo and many more.

Wayne State College has earned a reputation for outstanding performing arts programs. Thousands of patrons attend concerts, plays, musicals and other cultural events each year. A wide range of genres is represented in annual productions, from the classics of Shakespeare to cutting edge modern drama, and have recently included productions of Steel Magnolias, School for Husbands, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Beauty and the Beast, The Tempest, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Mad Adventures of Mr. Toad. The biannual Children's Theatre production, presented as a unique outreach service to the broader community, is regularly attended by approximately 4,000 pre-school through fifth-grade children. The Wayne State College Department of Music also presents a full season of student, ensemble and faculty programs that are open to the public as well as Band Festivals and Choral Festivals for junior high and high school students.

In addition to the endowment, an upgrade to Ramsey Theatre is needed to provide a number of significant improvements. Ramsey Theatre is a critical component of WSC's campus and community event presence, including the Black & Gold Series. Desired updates to the theater include HD internet video broadcasting, updated intercom, improved lighting system, enhanced projection system, updated sound board and wireless microphone capability.

For more information about the Jeanne Gardner Black & Gold Performing Arts Endowment, call Kevin Armstrong at 402-375-7534, Deborah Lundahl at 402-375-7209 or Laura Robinett at 402-375-7370.