A Message from Executive Director Scott Sowinski


Dear Friends of The Center,

Art is the great equalizer. It affords togetherness of expression and opinion, inclusive of authenticity. Art, and indeed, the Center for Performing Arts, meets us as we are wherever it finds us. As we conclude our season and prepare for our next, I thank you for meeting me with this brilliant arts culture. Transitioning leadership is complex. I am most grateful that our staff and you, our artistic stakeholders, have made it a seamless journey of discovery. The Center for Performing Arts has been prominent in my life for over two decades. It is where I found art (or art found me) right in my backyard. It did not take a journey downtown or to Broadway. I found it here. I found a home. What gift to continue to offer that opportunity so many years later. The joy in what we do speaks to this year of evolution as we learn how to more fully place ‘art.... at the center of your life.’

Our Marketing team’s thoughtful rebranding emphasizes our ongoing pursuit to act as an arts hub, providing a continual kaleidoscope of cultural inspiration.

Here are some forward-facing highlights in our Center’s leaps in 2023- 24: 

  • Solidifying traditions; Rocky Horror Picture Show, Opera Up Close, it’s a Wonderful Life, and our Community Nutcracker (coming in 2024!) 
  • Developing clear programming series (Family, Spotlight, Cabaret) providing awareness of who we are and where we are headed. 
  • Enhancing your bar service experience complementing our beautiful facility. 
  • Applying for our first National Endowment for the Arts research grant integrating arts within our home of GSU and growing the Center as an academic pillar in arts development. 
  • Launching the concierge lounge experience to build our community in arts and serve their engagement. 
  • Growing Arts in Education exponentially: multiple week summer camps, inaugural programming this academic year, and developmental partnerships for premiere productions in fall 2024. 
  • Ever-expanding service as a premiere rental and community usage facility. There is a place for you and your events here at the Center! 

Our achievements are not just external. We have become better through the combined energies of our staff and stakeholders in arts advocacy.  Community is at the forefront of our mission. Leveraging the arts terrain amidst us, partnering with other arts organizations such as the Illinois Philharmonic and putting our community of artistry in the spotlight. This is how we move forward. We hope you will move with us.  

Your attendance, advocacy, financial and communal giving, all serve as engagement tools to assure our ability to grow in service. We are only as strong as our partners. Reach out, visit, volunteer, contribute, refer a friend, suggest a performance that inspires you. Our hearts and minds and open to you. Our focus is found through your direction. We thank you for continuing to guide us. 

May you remain well and artistically evolving. See you next season.

Scott Sowinski Signature transparent

Scott Sowinski

Executive Director, The Center for Performing Arts