The renovation of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center has received a $200,000 gift from Cecelia and Jim Mudd, Sr. The gift from the Mudds will support the estimated $14.5 million renovation of the 20-year old facility.
“I never went there without having a wonderful time and enjoying myself immensely, along with Ceceilia. We went there often, and we enjoyed every single minute,” said Jim Mudd, Sr., chairman of Mudd Advertising and chief spiritual advisor for the company.
In a typical year, the Gallagher Bluedorn hosts more than 600 events, serving more than 115,000 guests – a usage nearly 10 times the initial projection when the facility opened in 2000. The center has showcased the world’s finest artists, ensembles of the UNI School of Music, the wcfsymphony and many other events and educational programs.
“The Gallagher Bluedorn has become a cultural centerpiece for the Cedar Valley,” said Steve Carignan, executive director of the Gallagher Bluedorn. “The renovation to our center is about better serving our patrons. Right now, we offer a world-class performance experience, and we want our patron experience to match that.”
The renovation and expansion features several event space additions, upgrades to the facility’s interior and exterior, and improvements to seating. The project will be completed in three phases, creating approximately 15,000 square feet of new and renovated space.
“I think about how fortunate we are to have a facility such as this in our community. Can you imagine how it’s going to be a few years from now? Everyone will be bursting with pride, I’m sure,” Mudd said.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of people like Jim and Cecelia with the vision and commitment to make this place a reality. Now it’s our job to take Gallagher Bluedorn to the next level so we can make sure that future generations enjoy it just as much as we have, “Carignan said.
The Mudds’ gift was made to the University of Northern Iowa through the UNI Foundation. For more information about the UNI Foundation, visit foundation.uni.edu.