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Grants support acoustic enhancements at William Inge Theater

Grants support acoustic enhancements at William Inge Theater

Performances will soon sound more dynamic in the William Inge Theater at Independence Community College, thanks to a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) and funds donated by the Independence Community College Foundation.

KCAIC recently awarded the ICC Fine Arts Department a $5,000 grant to assist in the purchase of professional-level acoustic “shells,” a portable wall structure specially designed to direct sound from the stage toward the audience.

The ICC Foundation supplied matching funds to help round out nearly all of the $10,660 total cost, and six shells are expected to be delivered to the college in mid-February.

Mandy Monroy, ICC Foundation Director, said the gift was an ideal opportunity to support a project that would mutually benefit the college and community.

“Our foundation board was pleased to offer these funds that will help enhance the future experiences of all audiences at the William Inge Theater and further support the talented performers who take the stage,” Monroy said.

ICC professors James Henderson (vocal music) and Larry Markiewicz (instrumental music) explained that acoustic experts estimate up to 50 percent of the sound from a musical ensemble can be lost backstage or in the rafters of a performance venue. When backed by the acoustic shell wall, however, the music is effectively projected to the audience. The professors noted that the shells also enhance students’ learning experience, through better ability to hear tone, timing and balance among fellow performers.

More information on the ICC music program and the fine arts department is available at https://www.indycc.edu/areas-of-study/fine-arts/music.