The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University is a world-class epicenter for the arts, attracting celebrated national and international programs featuring notable performing arts productions and artists. The center allows the university and the center’s supporters to express — and be recognized for — their passion for the arts on a global stage.
When you support the The McKnight Center, you help shape the future for Oklahoma State University. By contributing to the fund(s) below, you make our future brighter orange!
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.
The state-of-the-art McKnight Center holds a performance hall seating just under 1,100 people, providing an acoustically pure and uniquely intimate experience. The facility also boasts an outdoor plaza with a 32-foot LED screen as well as a recital hall that seats 217. From the grandiose lobby to the elegant patrons lounge, The McKnight Center is a premier venue for the performing arts.
The McKnight Center is proud to present world-class artists from around the world made possible by a generous gift from the center’s namesake – Ross and Billie McKnight. The New York Philharmonic opened the 2019-20 inaugural season and is followed by prestigious names in the performing arts world. Donations to the Keys to Success Fund will continue to uphold and enhance the programming offered at The McKnight Center.
As part of The McKnight Center’s mission in conjunction with Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission, the center strives to bring the performing arts to all. A partnership with Stillwater Public Schools has already brought hundreds of local students in for free performances and continuing efforts will bring outreach programs to area schools and groups.
In addition to K-12 outreach, The McKnight Center is a proud partner to the OSU Greenwood School of Music. Beginning in the fall of 2019, the school of music utilized both halls for concerts and recitals, giving students a top-of-the-line venue to perform and perfect their skills. Additionally, each performer on The McKnight Center's season lineup offers masterclasses to interested college music students.
The Director’s Circle is The McKnight Center’s most loyal group of annual donors. Members receive benefits including access to Box Seats and the Patron Lounge, invitations to special events, and more.
Friends of The McKnight Center provide critical ongoing annual support for The McKnight Center’s artistic and educational programming.
The McKnight Center inspires and transforms individuals’ lives through artistic excellence, shared creative experiences, and impactful learning opportunities. Performances and events are presented in a supportive environment that seeks to eliminate obstacles to attendance for all audiences.
The Foundation for the McKnight Center
The McKnight Foundation exists to manage and operate The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Construction of The McKnight Center has begun and is scheduled to be completed in 2019. The McKnight Foundation is governed by a seven-member board of trustees and an executive director. The foundation will be engaged for the operation and programming of The McKnight Center.
Mark A. Blakeman is the inaugural Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University, a position he has held since 2017. He brings to the position vast knowledge and direct experience overseeing large-scale construction projects, building programs and raising philanthropic support.
Blakeman works with the McKnight Foundation Board of Trustees and provides strategic direction and oversight to The McKnight Center. His scope of responsibility includes branding and institutional visibility, revenue enhancement, operational and strategic planning, outreach and education, governance and financial management.