Krannert Center renovations allow for a more inclusive performing arts experience

By Amanda Brennan

Throughout 2020, concerts, sporting events and other in-person activities were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. No music students bustling in the hallways, no late-night tech week shows for theater students and no community members dressed up for band and orchestra concerts. 

During this time, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts was dark and quiet. This gave the center an opportunity to begin a renovation project, aiming for a more inclusive performance experience for patrons and guests. 

The Tryon Festival Theater now has a wider entrance and new carpet for easy wheelchair access. Inside the same theater, a small area of seats across the main floor was removed to add more space for wheelchair-accessible spots.  

In the upper foyer section of Foellinger Great Hall, the carpet was replaced and an opening with a ramp was added for additional wheelchair seating. A few portions of the balcony were leveled out for more “no-step” seating sections. The restrooms in the lower foyer area of Foellinger Great Hall were also renovated to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. 

The Krannert Center plans to continue these renovations into 2022 as they aim to work on the Colwell Playhouse and add “push bars” near the elevators. 

Photo by Amanda Brennan

Amanda Brennan

Digital Reporter for Good Morning Illini and UI7 News. Amanda also serves as the President for the University of Illinois chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is a photographer with the Illini Union Marketing Department. You can find Amanda in the Marching Illini Color Guard during the football season. Go Illini!