The McKnight Center

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University will be a world-class epicenter for the arts, attracting celebrated national and international programs featuring notable performing arts productions and artists. The center will allow the university and the center’s supporters to express — and be recognized for — their passion for the arts on a global stage.


Areas of Impact

When you support the The McKnight Center, you help shape the future for Oklahoma State University. By contributing to the fund below, you make our future brighter orange!

McKnight Center Keys to Success Fund

20-01680 - The McKnight Center Fund supports the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University. The fund may be used for programing, building and maintenance purposes. All funds used for programing will be invested, generating annual operating dollars to support programming. Such programing funds may be transferred to the Foundation for the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, a separate 501(c)(3) entity supporting the programing for the McKnight Center.

McKnight Center - Exterior
McKnight Center - Plaza
McKnight Center - Performance Hall 1
McKnight Center - Performance Hall 2
McKnight Center - Marilynn and Carl Thoma Grand Atrium
McKnight Center - Recital Hall

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will encourage discovery, push educational boundaries and redefine Oklahoma State’s influence in the arts with world-class programming unique to the region. It will be a modern venue for OSU’s talented students, accomplished faculty, and members of the community to enjoy with facilities built for producing world-class talent in mind.

By further building the program fund, we will ensure The McKnight Center’s place as a pre-eminent performing arts center and guarantee the exceptionally talented student musicians, dancers, actors and directors at Oklahoma State University will benefit from interactions with renowned performing arts leaders.


"The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts sets the foundation to invite world-class musicians and artists to Stillwater, Oklahoma."
Dr. Howard Potter, Professor and Head of the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music



Meet the Executive Director of The McKnight Center

Blakeman Mark

Mark A. Blakeman was announced as the inaugural Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University in March 2017. He brings to the position vast knowledge and direct experience overseeing large-scale construction projects, building programs and raising philanthropic support.

He will work with the McKnight Foundation Board of Trustees and provide strategic direction and oversight to The McKnight Center. His scope of responsibility will include branding and institutional visibility, revenue enhancement, operational and strategic planning, outreach and education, governance and financial management. One of his first tasks is to schedule the inaugural season and grand opening of The McKnight Center, which will include interfacing with the New York Philharmonic to develop and implement its residency partnership that was announced last September. It will be the first time in more than 30 years that the internationally celebrated organization will perform in Oklahoma.

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