The newly formed community group Friends of Kiel Performing Arts will be hosting a grand opening celebration for the newly constructed Kiel Performing Arts Center on May 1 and 2.

The event is a partnership between Friends, the Kiel Area School District, and the Kiel Booster Club.

Friends of Kiel Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in the fall of 2020 by a group of volunteers from the community, the Kiel Area School District, and local organizations. The Friends group is committed to promoting lifelong discovery and enjoyment of the arts by bringing the highest quality arts and arts education programs to the citizens of Kiel and surrounding communities.

As their first official act, the Friends said they are excited to welcome the community into this new space. “The new PAC is a crown jewel for Kiel and we are so happy to be able to kick off what we hope will be the start of many, many quality events in this facility,” said Melissa Ebert, Friends founding member.

The Grand Opening celebration is open to the public and will begin at noon on both May 1 and 2 with a light lunch provided by the School District and donors. The lobby of the PAC also will be open at this time for guests to explore several information displays including the construction process, opportunities to donate to and/or sponsor the PAC and information on the Friends of Kiel Performing Arts group. There will be raffle baskets available with the winners being drawn at the conclusion of Sunday’s show and streamed via the Kiel Performing Arts Center Facebook page. “Our goal is to produce a Grand Opening celebration that is worthy of this beautiful facility, but one that also respects the nonprofit status of our group,” stated Sara Jeanty, founding member. “I think we have put together a fantastic event; I am proud of what our group has accomplished and I think the public will be too.”

At 2 p.m. each day, the grand finale of the event will take place when 180 ticket holders will be invited into the auditorium to view the very first performances to grace the new stage. The two-hour concert will feature the Kiel High School bands and choirs, talented youth performers from KAYT and local piano studios, and many talented KASD alumni/musicians. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, April 15 through and will be $10 each (plus ticketing fees). Tickets (if any remain) also will be available at the PAC ticket booth beginning at noon on May 1 and 2.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of Kiel Performing Arts. “Our hope is to bring a concert series to Kiel and to do that we need to do some fundraising. We want to help provide as many opportunities as possible for people from Kiel and surrounding areas to visit this impressive facility and to experience all of the goodness that the arts provide,” said Karin Wille, Friends founding member.

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