Changing Lives : The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre


ADV Campaign Logo


You can play a leading role in sustaining one of Kalamazoo's cultural landmarks and treasures.

Dear Friends

The Art of Enriching Lives campaign is seeking $5.1 million in community philanthropy to provide renovations and improvements to the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. Your support can help us achieve this important goal and maintain this cultural gem in our community.

We feel privileged to witness the labor of love by Civic staff and volunteers who keep this historic organization alive. Now more than ever, you can play a part in fostering the creative arts and cultural vibrancy of the Kalamazoo community.

We have three outstanding venues - the Civic Auditorium, the Parish Theatre, and the Carver Center Studio for productions and rehearsals. These buildings are aging and in need of critical infrastructure upgrades and interior renovations. Providing the best community theatre experience in a warm and professional setting is a top priority. Please consider joining us in supporting the Art of Enriching Lives campaign as we restore and enhance the Civic.


Mike and Sharon Seelye and Maggie and Eric Zahrai

ADV Campaign Seelyes and Zahrais


Facility Repairs and Maintenance


Production Equipment Updates


IT Repairs and Upgrades


Contingency (5%)


Campaign Operational Expenses


Strengthen Endowment*




*Endowment is held at Green Leaf Trust

Click to watch the campaign video:


The Civic Auditorium was unveiled in 1931, with funding from Dr. W.E. Upjohn. Our inspired history drives us to maintain the standards of excellence established at the beginning of our organization.
Click here for a more detailed history of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.


Now in its 87th season, the Civic has endured as the community's liveliest, most cherished source for quality entertainment for the entire family.
Each season, in service to our community, we provide:

  • Volunteer opportunities for 1,000 volunteers
  • Educational experiences for 850 students of all ages
  • Entertainment for 39,000 patrons
  • Training, outreach, employment, and partnerships to local residents, visitors, and organizations.
  • Financial aid for over 140 participants in the Academy of Theatre Arts
  • American Sign Language Interpretive Services
  • Outreach to schools


We continue to honor the tradition of the Civic by evolving with society and the needs of anyone who walks through our doors. With the help from our community, we'll make the upgrades and renovations necessary to provide exceptional programming in safe, comfortable state-of-the-art facilities for generations to come.


Thank you for your support!

Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, businesses, and foundations, our campaign has reached $3.8 million of its $5.1 million goal. With the support of our community, the Civic will complete important repairs and upgrades on our facilities and production equipment.

To see who has already pledged, click the tabs below. Please consider joining our contributors with a pledge to support the Art of Enriching Lives campaign by clicking the DONATE button above.



(Campaign pledge contributions as of February 5, 2016.)

John W. and Rosemary K. Brown Family Foundation
The Burdick-Thorne Foundation
Consumers Energy Foundation
Dorothy U. Dalton Foundation
The H.P. and Genevieve Connable Fund
Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
Kalamazoo Rotary Club
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
Nancy Malcomson Connable Fund
Northwood Foundation
Olin and Muriel Prather Charitable Foundation
Polzin Family Fund
The Stryker Johnston Foundation
Talisman Fund
Tyler Little Family Foundation
Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation
Suzanne Upjohn DeLano Parish Foundation


ADV Campaign Peg Small

"Kalamazoo...I don t know if they realize how lucky they are. Other community theatres around the country are sometimes in just a small little area or in a barn or some other facility. But nothing like what we've got here. This is absolutely beautiful!"
- Peg Small (Patron / Actress)
ADV Campaign Bradfords

"We are just regular people. We've got two young kids. It does take a lot of time and energy to be here but we're always thinking 'what show are we doing next?' We want to be back here."
- Sharon Bradford (Actress)

"I think we are also laying a foundation. Not just for us but for our kids to realize that they can do anything. I think that is one of the beauties of theatre, we are really putting ourselves out there."
- Rob Bradford (Actor)

ADV Campaign Christina Griffin

"There's something about this building being downtown, right in the heart of the city. It's vital to the heart and soul of Kalamazoo."
- Christina Griffin
(Patron / Volunteer)

ADV Campaign Bechecks

"The Civic inspires me to go out in the world and just be who I am. No fears behind it. Just me and my confidence."
- Marcus Bechek
(Youth Theatre Participant)

"Watching Marcus ever since he s been involved in the Civic, I ve noticed he has more focus on the things that he s interested in.... I think it s really expanded his confidence and interests and allowed him to be part of something bigger than what he was a part of before."
- Lorrie Bechek (Volunteer / Parent)