History & Staff

The facility for Wichita Center for Performing Arts was built to support programming at the Wichita Center for the Arts, now known as Mark Arts.

The art school was established in 1922. Classes were taught at various locations until relocating to 401 N. Belmont in the College Hill neighborhood in November of 1946. In the 1960s, Mary R. Koch, Olive Ann Beech and Gladys Wiedemann began their long-term support of the organization. The gallery and school facilities were completed in 1965.

The 484-seat theatre was dedicated in 1971 in honor of Irene Vickers Baker. The intimate theater has provided adults and children of all ages opportunities to experience professional theater performances, children’s theater, films and special events. In 2014 state-of- the-art renovations were made to the stage and house lighting as well as the sound system.

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Mike Garvey

President, Wichita Center for Performing Arts
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Shelli Kadel

Director, Wichita Center for Performing Arts