After more than 20 years of dreaming and five years of intensive design and construction planning, the new Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities is now a reality.
Indeed, our dreams have truly been realized as we begin to utilize the many incredible educational and artistic spaces housed in this new 170,000 square foot facility which provides our campus and community with a vibrant "center" and home for artistic and cultural enrichment.
We invite the members of our campus and community to explore the new regional center, which houses new state-of-the art classrooms and labs, studios, production facilities, three theatres, three art galleries, music and theatre rehearsal halls, and the beautiful Frances Bedford Concert Hall.
The dedication of the new regional center will be held on Thursday, October 27 beginning at 5:00 p.m. The event will honor the legacy of Rita Tallent Picken and the generosity of Kitty Picken, Rita's step-daughter, who has graciously donated $3.5 million to the project to help fund and equip the new facility and to provide endowed scholarships for students majoring in the arts and humanities.
The official Grand Opening Gala for the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will take place on Saturday, January 28 beginning at 5:00 p.m. This campus and community-wide celebration of the arts and culture of the campus and our regional community will begin at 5:00 p.m.
The Community and Alumni Celebration of the new center will be held on Saturday, April 28 and will showcase the many artistic and cultural talents of community artists and arts organizations, including many UW-Parkside alumni.
Please revisit this website for more details regarding these special events!
Dean Yohnk, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, UW-Parkside College of Arts and Sciences
Yohnk@uwp.edu / 262.595.2188
I applaud the vision and determination of UW-Parkside to partner with Kenosha and Racine leaders in this project. The new Regional Center for the Arts and Humanities will host world-class performances, by students and faculty and community stars and global celebrities alike. This powerful collaboration builds the regional community from its imaginative core, and will underwrite a prosperous economic outlook for the entire area.
Former Lieutenant Governor and current Chair of Arts Board Wisconsin
On behalf of the Gateway community I am proud to share our congratulations with Chancellor Deborah Ford and the UW Parkside community on the construction of the new regional Center for Arts and Humanities.
This addition to the Parkside campus and the diversity of programs and experiences provided through the center will strengthen our community. Students at UW Parkside and Gateway will benefit by expanded resources and cultural experiences.
Growth in any society is driven through understanding and appreciation for the arts and humanities. Through the center we will all learn together a deeper respect for social responsibility and community.
president of Gateway Technical College, serving Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties
UW-Parkside has a long history of forging strong partnerships with the communities it serves.
The new Regional Center for the Arts and Humanities is an investment that will pay off dearly for our entire region. The climate has never been better! UW-Parkside's increased commitment to our region will create an exciting hub of creativity. Art and culture will stimulate economic growth and contribute to a higher quality of life for us all.
UW-P's shared open studio spaces will attract and retain creative talent, and its world class cultural events and facilities will attract innovators and entrepreneurs.
Do I sound excited about the possibilities? You bet!
Racine Arts Council Board Member
Higher education in today's world has a responsibility to partner with communities in new and innovative ways that build both social and economic capital.
I am excited to help support the growth of UW-Parkside's Regional Center for the Arts & Humanities in a manner that fulfills our university's academic mission while also addresses the needs, hopes and dreams of our community at large.
The 'scholarship of engagement' can be a dynamic force in both educational attainment and community development, and I am very optimistic that this venture will be a fruitful resource for us all.
Director, Community Development
Center for Community Partnerships
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
As someone who is passionate about building up the community and creating a place that, through the arts, appeals to people for travel and living, the new Regional Center for the Arts and Humanities has become very important to me.
I see these buildings not just as stone and mortar, or even just classrooms, but as a bridge between the community and the University. After having lived in several states and cities around the country, I know there are great possibilities for an area that is tied closely to their University. We have that chance now, here, in Southeast Wisconsin. The things that this Center will provide are not confined to the walls of the University; they spread throughout the community, schools, and lives of all area residents. The Center will bring new opportunities for growth, education, and experiences.
Not only am I excited and grateful to the University and the donors who are helping make this facility a reality, but I am thrilled to be a part of Southeast Wisconsin during this time of change and possibility! As a writer and avid arts lover, I see so many new options opening up for students, citizens, and the future of our area. This is just the kind of change that has brought new creative and economic life to others areas around the nation, and I'm anticipating great things here as well.
Freelance writer and Contributing Editor of ExposeKenosha.com
Kenosha is an area in transition and in the process of redefining itself. We are leaving an industrial economy and structure behind and moving into a "new world" defined by technology, community, business, the arts, and our institutions. The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities is a great development; the academic and artistic programming will not only impact UW-Parkside but the community and the region as well.
Parkside is reaching out to the rest of the Arts organizations and community in general as it builds upon its history of promoting community engagement and enrichment. 2012 will be "The Year of the Arts" for this regional arts and humanities "hub", and will include not only Parkside activities but also showcase and include the arts and creativity that make the Kenosha/Racine area unique.
We are witnesses and participants of this process -- businesses, institutions, and the arts are tied together when it comes to creating a successful and attractive community. We are excited to see how UW-Parkside continues to seek ways to extend its influence beyond the boundaries of campus. In the redefining of Kenosha, this is a great example of the importance of "the arts" and how they are helping in the economic re-development of our town, making it a great community with an excellent "quality of life" for the arts to thrive.
Owner of ExposeKenosha.com
BRAVO UW-Parkside! What insight, what good fortune, to have planted the Regional Center for Arts and Humanities in our own back yard!!
As a person immersed in the arts, I've understood for years that the arts and creative-sector industries are the next economic drivers. It is obvious that jobs in technology, robotics, design, and architecture require arts training.
But forever more, our future will depend on how well we instill creative-thinking skills in our future leaders. How we fuel our planet, how we provide food, how we plan our urban spaces, how we manage health, safety and education will all require the sort of out-of-the-box thinking and decision-making that an arts and humanities education nurtures.
Our future needs a lot more people asking, "What if...." The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will help us explore all the answers.
Melanie Hovey is a Lemon Street Gallery founder and its Executive Director. She's also the Development Coordinator of KenoshaUnionParkProject and a founder and officer of Kenosha HarborMarket.
The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside reminds all of us of the central role of learning and education in human endeavor.
The arts celebrate the accomplishments of humanity and encourage us to reflect on our struggles to educate all citizens to participate fully in our democracy.
The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities reinforces the Racine Unified School District's effort to educate all students to be career and college ready.
James J. Shaw, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Racine Unified School District
The stronger the Fine Arts can become, the more the region stands to benefit.
With programs like UW-Parkside's prominent theatre, art, and music departments, we can only stand to benefit as a community. This prominence leads to credibility and can help areas retain students after graduation. I know that Macomb, IL, once a one-stoplight town, has been transformed by Western Illinois University. It is amazing what Universities can do for a community and how much industrial and commercial interests are tied to Universities.
If UW-Parkside continues to expand, the economic fingers will branch off and can only bode well for the entire area. Arts play a huge role in creative development â€“ something that everyone is looking for today. Lots of towns across the nation use Arts Centers as focal points for expansion. The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will also offer new venues and new opportunities for partnership and could have a profound impact on inner-city school children, giving them exposure to the arts in ways that were not possible before.
Dr. Robert Wells
Kenosha Unified School District Fine Arts Coordinator
The Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce has been serving Kenosha County businesses and the community for almost 100 years. Our educational institutions are vital components of the overall vitality of our community. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is a prime example of our exceptional educational institutions. The Chamber not only values UW-Parkside's membership, but also cherishes our collaborative relationship as we serve business students and budding entrepreneurs.
The Chamber applauds UW-Parkside on the building of the new Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. This new facility and the opportunities afforded by it is part of what makes Kenosha County such a wonderful place to live, work and play. The combination of world class academic programming, artistic creativity and awesome cultural experiences brings much value to Kenosha County residents and to the business community.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and member businesses of the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, I extend congratulations to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for its vision and dedication to our community. I can't wait until the Regional Center for Arts and Humanities opens its doors!
Executive Director Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce
To me, the problem is that students who graduate in the arts;(whether they were full art students or did arts on the side) go out and begin working and soon learn they don't have an outlet for their art anymore. People ask, what can I do now? How can I sell my work or show it?
The Regional Center for the Arts and Humanities will be important as it can provide that space and opportunity for community adults and graduates. On the other hand, Kenosha Art Association takes volunteers to help run galleries and hang works, and it would be great to have even more students on hand to do these things.
Through volunteering at KAA, students are given the opportunity to learn, hands-on, things like gallery hanging, running an organization, what needs to be done for art to be shown. Together, as a community and a University, we can offer even more ways for graduates and community members to learn and grow in the arts.
The Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will be critical in providing a space that gives adults coming back to the arts a refresher course, a creative outlet and community, a network, and, most importantly, inspiration for new ideas!
Kenosha Art Association President
The Arts define us, inspire us and lead us onward.
What an amazing time to be part of such an exciting project. Having just attended the Envisioning the Future meeting, my passion has grown ten-fold after hearing from so many others in the community that are as committed to the new center as we are here at Parkside. Together we will join to make a difference in individual lives and collectively to benefit our region economically, educationally and artistically.
Assistant Professor of Music - Voice
Director, Opera Workshop
University of Wisconsin - Parkside
Brick and mortar demonstrate a community's ultimate commitment to the arts! It's exciting to see academics, artists, families, business and civic leaders and students share a positive anticipation for such an important endeavor.
Celebrating and nurturing the connective element that the arts and arts education can have is thrilling and essential for any progressive community. Even beyond the Kenosha area, neighboring communities - such as Milwaukee - are looking forward to hearing about the upcoming additions to our region's creative network.
Nationally recognized poet from Milwaukee
I am very pleased to see the expansion of the Communication Arts Facility at UW-Parkside. It's an exciting time as we observe all the progress UWP is making, both for itself and the surrounding communities.
This development will expand the opportunities for bringing together the communities of Southeast Wisconsin. In Kenosha we are working to encourage the growth and expansion of arts within our city, and UWP's new Center and goals fit right in with what we are doing.
Mayor of Kenosha
As the organization that provided the region's first creative industries study, we support UW-Parkside's Regional Center for Arts and Humanities because it provides an opportunity for awareness and development of all of the components of our creative economy.
President and Executive Director of Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee
I would like to congratulate UW-Parkside on its new Regional Center for the Arts and Humanities. The project will make a major impact not only on the school but the entire community for generations to come.
I applaud school and community officials for the hard work involved in developing and raising money for the project. I'm confident the arts center will become a centerpiece of economic growth and development for the region.
Robin J. Vos
State Representative (R-Rochester)
The Arts and Humanities will always be the connective fiber of any viable society; the foundation and catalyst of economic and social development. With the forward thinking vision of UW-Parkside in the development of the Regional Center for Arts and Humanities as the hub of our community, I believe that we will be enriched, engaged and connected to others in Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, much like the spokes of a wheel.
If one considers the current world climate, it will be the Arts and Humanities that arise from the ashes of both natural and man-made chaos to give voice to both our joys and sorrows. Parkside's vision does not distinguish between advantaged or disadvantaged, but instead provides our community with opportunities to express and develop our individual "voice" and stamp on history by engaging in the present and redesigning our future.
Diana Marie Iorio
Artistic Director, "Luci Toscane Music & Cultural Arts Festival" - Siena, Italy
Kenosha native & former adjunct string faculty of UW-Parkside
Every great society has at its core a love and commitment to the Arts. If we are going to build a great society for our children, the degree to which we dedicate ourselves to the arts will define our very commitment to our children and our future.
Mayor of Racine
I applaud the University of Wisconsin â€“ Parkside on the building and upcoming completion of its new Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. This is a remarkable addition to the school, and the facility will provide significant educational opportunities for students.
State Representative (R-Randall).
Do you have a comment about the Regional Center for Arts and Humanities? Contact Dr. Dean Yohnk!