The Luhrs Center gives back

A local small town performing arts center has a big heart.

The H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center can be found on the Shippensburg University campus. Entrepreneur H. Ric Luhrs had the idea for the regional performing arts center in hopes of bringing a different type of culture to the area of Shippensburg.

The Commonwealth provided funding for 50 percent of the $20 million building while private donors funded the other 50 percent. No university or tuition dollars were used.

On average, 55,000 people walk through the center’s doors each year to be entertained by orchestras, musical artists, comedians and sometimes even dog whispers. Every year the center generates more than $1 million in revenue.

The Luhrs Center also employees several SU students in the box office and as backstage crew. SU students can also receive a $5 discount on one ticket with a valid SU student ID.

All of these are admirable statistics and qualities for a smalltown performing arts center, but how the center gives back to the university is what is truly impressive.

“All of our ticket sales go back to the university,” said Leslie Folmer Clinton, associate vice president of student affairs and director of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
“The Luhrs Center is responsible for all the other non-performance events. We have the university community orchestra concert here. That’s all staffed and provided out of the Luhrs Center’s operating budget.”

The university provides $500,000 for the center’s operating budget, and that rate has remained the same since it opened in 2006.
The center is also the home of the music and theater arts departments which include faculty offices, smart classrooms, soundproof piano rooms and a large ensemble rehearsal room.

Despite having a university budget, the center operates very much on its own. The way it still manages to donate back to the students and the community is worth more than any monetary amount.

For ticket information call 717-477-SHOW.

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