JCCC Renames Performing Arts Venue While Pursuing Local Arts Partnerships

Johnson County Community College plans an exciting future for performing arts in the community. The College has received a $1 million donation for an ongoing endowment supporting its performing arts series. The fund will also provide scholarships for students studying creative arts at the College.

Donors Brad and Libby Bergman are longtime supporters of the College and have co-chaired Some Enchanted Evening, the JCCC Foundation’s annual gala and largest fundraising event for JCCC student scholarships. Brad Bergman has also served as chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

In honor of their significant donation, the Carlsen Center for Performing Arts will become the Midwest Trust Center, after a local company founded by Brad Bergman.

“We have been blessed with business success, in part because of those who built institutions in this county like JCCC,” said Brad Bergman. “Giving back is part of our DNA, and all of the activities that occur in this building benefit Johnson County and the entire Kansas City metropolitan area.”

The Bergmans are committed to students as well as the community. Each season, one Midwest Trust Center Series event will be supported by the Bergmans’ endowment proceeds, with ticket revenues from that event going to student scholarships.

Dedicated in 1990, the Midwest Trust Center includes Yardley Hall, Polsky Theatre, the Bodker Black Box Theatre, a recital venue, numerous classrooms and related support facilities. Hundreds of thousands of community members of all ages have enjoyed a variety of high-quality performing arts during its 30 years.

JCCC Performing Arts General Manager Emily Behrmann said the impact of the Bergmans’ donation “will continue to expand our legacy of bringing diverse artists from across the world to our region. I offer my sincere thanks to the Bergmans for their commitment to JCCC and their recognition of the power of the performing arts.”

JCCC Arts Education and Stone Lion Puppets premiere ‘The Lost Treasure’

Stone Lion Puppet Theatre creates a new work, “The Lost Treasure,” in partnership with JCCC’s Arts Education and Center for Sustainability for live-streaming and in-person formats. The work features giant puppets and themes around caring for the planet. (photo by Manon Halliburton)

In a first-time partnership, JCCC Arts Education and Stone Lion Puppet Theatre present “The Lost Treasure” March 18-19 in both streaming and live-audience formats.

The hourlong performance will feature giant puppets Nathan Ready and a Quetzal bird looking for lost Aztec treasure in a mysterious cave. The interactive show will encourage audiences to join them on the quest as they head deep into the cave using an ancient map. Along the way, they’ll learn how our world is connected above and below ground and how the footprints we leave behind can have far-reaching impact.

According to JCCC Arts Education Program Director Kara Armstrong, “I loved the idea of working with Stone Lion because they have strong sustainability connections, and I knew it would be a good fit. The College’s Center for Sustainability is joining the partnership, underwriting half of their performance fee.”

Armstrong said it’s a fantastic opportunity to work with a high-quality, innovative local group, since many of the school shows Arts Education presents each year are not local, but touring productions from around the world.

“The plan is to stream the three performances and have a small live audience for each show,” said Armstrong.

Daytime performances are March 18 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (CST); the evening performance is March 19 at 7 p.m. (CST). Livestream ticketing is $20 per classroom or family. The limited live-audience experience in Yardley Hall is $6 per person for the daytime shows and starts at $9 per person for the evening performance. (Tickets will be refunded if the in-person audience is canceled.) The show is ideal for grades K-5.

Schools interested in purchasing tickets should contact Kara Armstrong at karmstro@jccc.edu or 913-469-8500, ext. 4221. Funding assistance is available to schools for tickets and buses.

For more information: www.jccc.edu/MTCArtsEd

–Susan Tolleson, JCCC Writer

“The Lost Treasure”
March 18, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (CST)
March 19, 7 p.m. (CST)
$20 for livestream
$6 for limited daytime in-person audience
Starts at $9 for limited evening in-person audience

Midwest Trust Center Box Office
Mon. – Fri., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Amanda Rehagen

Amanda Rehagen is web designer for KC Studio.

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