New committee will develop funding strategies for Stephens Auditorium

President Wendy Wintersteen and athletics director Jamie Pollard have named a committee to develop funding strategies in support of Stephens Auditorium.

Like many performing arts and athletic venues dependent on ticket sales, Stephens Auditorium has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the facility has deferred maintenance needs.

The committee will work with the Iowa State University Foundation to examine how individuals, businesses, foundations and other potential donors could contribute to sustain facility operations for the benefit of the university and Ames communities.

The committee members are:

  • Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Donald Simonson, chair of the music and theatre department
  • Chris Jorgensen, senior associate director of athletics for operations
  • Grant Luther, event operations coordinator for the athletics department and ISU music alumnus active in music and theater productions during his student years

"We are always deeply grateful for the many ways our donors invest in Iowa State University, and this is another opportunity for them to make a difference to help ensure the arts remain an important part of our university community and culture," Wintersteen said.

The committee will examine approaches to sustaining operations as well as long-term opportunities that better position the Iowa State Center, which includes Stephens Auditorium, as a vibrant district for arts, culture and entertainment. Plans for a multi-use district have been part of a vision to expand opportunities for Stephens Auditorium. The proposed district may include a convention center, hotel, entertainment venues and more.

As an initial step, the ISU Foundation has created a webpage for donors to give online to support Stephens Auditorium.