The McKnight Center

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.


Areas of Impact

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!

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.


The Facility

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 Programming

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.

Click here to find more information on upcoming McKnight Center performances.


The Outreach

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.


The Partnership

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.


Benefactor | $25,000+

Performance Tickets

  • Option to purchase Box Seats pending availability and gift level
  • Access to the Patron Lounge for all Performance Hall concert events
  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Concierge ticketing service for The McKnight Center performances
  • One (1) complimentary reserved parking pass for The McKnight Center performances in Fourth Avenue Garage

Special Events

  • One table for ten (10) at the Opening Night Gala and ten (10) tickets to the New York Philharmonic concert on Friday, September 23, 2022
  • One table for eight (8) at the Chamber Music Soiree, including seating with musicians, on Thursday, November 3, 2022
  • Invitation for four (4) to the Season Announcement in Spring
  • Meet and Greet opportunities with artists, as available

Publicity

  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on the McKnight Center website
  • Option to direct your gift toward a performance or program sponsorship

Producer | $10,000 - $24,999

Performance Tickets

  • Option to purchase Box Seats pending availability and gift level
  • Access to the Patron Lounge for all Performance Hall concert events
  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Concierge ticketing service for The McKnight Center performances
  • One (1) complimentary parking pass for The McKnight Center performances in Fourth Avenue Garage

Special Events

  • Four (4) seats at the Opening Night Gala and four (4) tickets to the New York Philharmonic concert on Friday, September 23, 2022
  • Four (4) seats at the Chamber Music Soiree, including seating with musicians, on Thursday, November 3, 2022
  • Invitation for four (4) to the Season Announcement in Spring
  • Meet and Greet opportunities with artists, as available

Publicity

  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on the McKnight Center website
  • Option to direct your gift toward a performance or program sponsorship

Director | $5,000 - $9,999

Performance Tickets

  • Option to purchase Box Seats pending availability and gift level
  • Access to Patron Lounge for all Performance Hall concert events
  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Concierge ticketing service for The McKnight Center performances

Special Events

  • Two (2) seats at the Opening Night Gala and two (2) tickets to the New York Philharmonic concert on Friday, September 23, 2022
  • Two (2) seats at the Chamber Music Soiree, including seating with musicians, on Thursday, November 3, 2022
  • Invitation for two (2) to the Season Announcement in Spring
  • Meet and Greet opportunities with artists, as available

Publicity

  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on the McKnight Center website
  • Option to direct your gift toward a program

Friends of The McKnight Center provide critical ongoing annual support for The McKnight Center’s artistic and educational programming.


Center Stage | $2,500 - $4,999

  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on The McKnight Center website
  • Invitation for two (2) to the Patron Lounge during intermission at one season performance
  • Invitation for two (2) to Season Announcement in Spring
  • Option to direct your gift to the Side-by-Side program

Backstage | $1,000 - $2,499

  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on The McKnight Center website
  • Invitation for two (2) to Season Announcement in Spring

Debut | $100 - $999

  • Priority ticket ordering for annual series and added performances
  • Season-long recognition in the printed program and on The McKnight Center website

About The McKnight Center

Mission

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.


Meet the Executive Director of The McKnight Center

Blakeman Mark

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.