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Open Studio Series supports the initiative to build a bright future for CMU’s performing arts

Colorado Mesa University is on the verge of transforming its performing arts scene through the Setting the Stage capital campaign to build a new 850-seat, state-of-the-art theatre on the west side of campus. The endeavor aims to raise $8 million to construct the theatre, bolstering CMU’s commitment to bridging divides on the West Slope through the arts. Generous donors, alongside passionate performers and community supporters, have already rallied behind the cause, recognizing the value a theatre on this scale will bring to western Colorado.

To showcase the immense talent in CMU’s performing arts community, the campaign launched the Open Studio Series. The platform provides a stage for students like Isa Sanchez and Brendan Lowry, and faculty members like Jill Van Brussel, to captivate audiences and inspire support for the Setting the Stage campaign. The series also highlights community donors who have pledged their support for the arts in Grand Junction by having them introduce each of the videos and appeal to others to join them in giving to the campaign.

Sanchez, who sang It Won’t Be Long Now from the musical In the Heights said she was honored to be a part of the series and the campaign at large.

“The performing arts have had a profound impact on my life, and I believe that investing in a new theatre building will provide endless opportunities for students and the community to thrive,” she said.

For performers like Sanchez, the new theatre represents an opportunity to create unforgettable experiences and impact the lives of future generations.

Stan Scott, a former choir director at Central High School and an ardent community supporter, highlighted the significance of the project.

“A new theatre is so imperative to continue to improve our community and draw new theatre students and patrons,” said Scott.

Kelianne Chamberlain, a CMU Foundation Board Member, shares Scott’s enthusiasm for the new theatre, envisioning Grand Junction and CMU as a flourishing cultural center.

“The arts make our communities thrive,” she said.

By investing in a new theatre, CMU is making significant strides towards becoming a vibrant hub for new cultural experiences in Colorado’s rural west.

Miffie Blozvich, a devoted community member and CMU alumna, expressed her gratitude towards her mentor and founder of the CMU theatre department, Bill Robinson, and emphasized the lasting impact of quality theatre education.

“It’s because of [Robinson’s] influence 50 years ago that I have such a passion for investing in a new theatre building on the CMU campus,” she explained.

Blozvich’s experience exemplifies the profound influence of educators and the transformative power of the performing arts.

The Setting the Stage campaign relies on the support of donors, performers and community members who believe in the transformative power of the arts. Through generous contributions, the incredible talent of performers, and the support of the community, CMU is set to embark on a new era of artistic excellence. The construction of a new theatre will not only elevate CMU’s performing arts programs but also nurture a thriving cultural hub for the entire community for years to come.

To learn more, view the Open Studio Series, or donate to the campaign, visit


Written by Laura Bradley