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The power of Performing Arts

Wharton Center inspires the mind and moves the soul

Whether you sit in one of our seats, support one of our programs or aspire to stand on one of our stages, our purpose is to make life more meaningful through experiencing the performing arts.

We engage our community through dynamic programming, education and outreach. And we strive for a world where stories shine a light on our common dreams, our struggles and our shared sense of humanity to infuse our lives with connection and meaning.

The Wharton Story

There is no greater purpose than to help shape our community for the better. Wharton Center is committed to showcasing experiences that inspire the mind and move the soul.

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Our History

Wharton Center’s story begins long before the Chicago Symphony graced the Cobb Great Hall stage on opening night, September 25, 1982.

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Our Namesake

Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Jr. became president of Michigan State University in 1970. Wharton and his wife, Dolores, came to campus with a deep appreciation for the arts.

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​Our Staff

From our executive director to the interns who fill our office with fresh energy each semester, the Wharton Center team is committed to enhancing and infusing the world around them with the arts.

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Land Acknowledgement

Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples. The university resides on land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.