Kristin Chenoweth to headline Gala2016


Emmy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth will be performing with a band at Zoellner Arts Center for its 20th Anniversary Gala on Oct. 8.

The money raised from the Gala will benefit the operations of the arts center, including world-class guest artists, community service initiatives, and educational and family programs throughout the Lehigh Valley.

The Gala fits right in the middle of a month full of activity for Lehigh.

“It’s going to be a pretty exciting weekend on campus,” said Carrie Nedick, who runs Zoellner’s annual Gala and does fundraising for the College of Arts and Sciences. “Next year is Homecoming, Founder’s Day, Parent’s Weekend and a lot of other stuff happening on campus, which is great for us with the Gala because it means that people are coming in from out of town for other things.”

According to the Zoellner Arts Center website, concert-only tickets will go on sale to the general public July 14. Subscribers to the Arts Center and donors of the 2016-17 season will be able to purchase concert-only tickets beginning April 24. Tickets will be sold for $75 and $150.

Chenoweth is known for her Broadway role as Glinda the Good Witch in the musical “Wicked” as well as her role in the television series “Pushing Daisies”.

The Gala helps with community outreach, as members of the Valley come to Lehigh and experience what it has to offer.

“It’s our 20th anniversary next year, and this is the 20th gala that we have,” said Andrew Cassano, administrative director of Zoellner Arts Center. “We have one every year to help raise money for the arts at Lehigh as well as for the programming at the arts center.”

Chenoweth headlined her first show at Lehigh four years ago and made a lasting impact on the audience. About two weeks before the Gala, Katharine McPhee cancelled all of her engagements because of a medical problem, and “just by pure happenstance, Kristin Chenoweth became available,” Cassano said.

The process of securing a headliner for the Gala is no simple feat. Looking to fill a specific date and taking advantage of the many events happening on campus in October complicates the process.

Zoellner Arts Center wanted to find an artist that would be the best fit for a fundraising event. The 20th anniversary of the Arts Center is bringing hopes for record-breaking fundraising and expectations that Chenoweth will make a big impression, as she did four years ago.

Gala2016 is intended to highlight the qualities of the Arts Center. The various Gala events exhibit what it has done and how it influences the types of students who come to Lehigh. The administration hopes to fill the audience with members of the Lehigh Valley, as well as students from various disciplines of study.

The Gala provides opportunities for students to attend through sponsored tickets. Students will often find alumnae or corporations to sponsor them, allowing them to attend the full event.

“We had almost 90 students sponsored last year,” said Adrienne Nenow, development associate for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Nedick said Zoellner Arts Center hopes to have great success with this “friendraiser.”

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