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North Central College will end ‘Delivered Performance Series’ after this season


North Central College in Naperville is concluding its long-running “Featured Performance Series,” which has brought together well-known artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Colbie Caillat and Dionne Warwick over the years.

Officials announced that the annual presentation of outdoor shows will be discontinued this spring because “the significant operating cost of the series no longer makes financial sense.”

The series, which has had a full program at the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center in North Central since the venue opened 16 years ago, will end with a production called “The Let’s Go Science Show” on April 20.

Yo-Yo Ma is among the artists gracing the stage at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall as part of the school’s “Featured Performance Series,” which will not return after the current season ends in April. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)

North Central assured “friends and supporters of the arts” in an email Wednesday: “This decision is in no way a reflection of the College’s long-standing commitment to the arts.”

Wentz Concert Hall will still be used to host student-led shows as well as performances by university partners (e.g., the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, Naperville Chorus, or Chicago Sinfonietta).

“The College will continue to host dozens of events,” NCC Associate Director of Fine Arts Jennifer Berosek added in an email to the Sun Friday, adding that the Featured Performance Series “has always been just one part of the College’s broader fine arts calendar.” he stated. and performing arts events throughout the year.

When Wentz Concert Hall was first designed almost two decades ago, it was envisioned with a vision of providing “world-class opportunities” for North Central students and “enriching the local community through the arts,” Berosek said.

In the fall of 2008, as the center was preparing to open, then-North Central President Harold Wilde told the Sun: “These facilities enable the university to attract and showcase internationally renowned artists as well as our award-winning theatre, music and arts students and community partners.”

Berosek said the university is “equally proud” to host international artists and to give students opportunities to explore their passions in the arts.

“These goals will continue in the future,” he said.

Berosek declined to say how much the series costs the school annually.

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 22: Singer LeAnn Rimes performs onstage at Nashville Rising, a benefit concert for flood relief at Bridgestone Arena on June 22, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Fred Breedon/Nashville Rising/Getty Images for Nashville Rising) ORG XMIT: 102166377
Country singer LeAnn Rimes performed at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in 2010 as part of the school’s “Featured Performance Series.” (Fred Breedon/Nashville Rising/Getty Images)

“We cannot share details regarding the series’ financial situation,” he said, “but the decision to discontinue the series at the end of the current season will allow the College to reallocate these funds to more directly serve our students.”

He also said the presence of other nearby performance venues (Rialto Square Theater in Joliet, Paramount in Aurora, Arcada in St. Charles) was not a factor in the university’s decision.

He said there is a field where everyone can be successful. “We have always viewed Wentz Concert Hall as a resource for our students and a destination for the Naperville and West Suburban community, and that will continue to be the case.”

Berosek said the university does not expect to bring back the Featured Performance Series in the same model but will “continue to work with new and existing partners to bring exciting and enriching performances and artists to our stages.”



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