Impact of Your Support

Here are a few examples of how private giving has helped the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center continue to serve the university, the greater community and the state of Maryland.


Open any door at the Clarice Smith Center and you will find a world of learning, exploration and growth. Our students are a vital part of this universe of arts experiences; it would not be the same without them.

They spend numerous hours in studios, rehearsal rooms and classrooms practicing, learning, designing and creating in preparation for the performance… all in addition to their academic requirements. This leaves little or no time to take on a part-time job to help defray increasing educational costs.

Scholarships are essential to eliminating the financial barrier to a quality education. Your support can make a difference.

Conor Voss

Scholarships have allowed me to supplement the strong training I’m receiving at Maryland with workshops, intensives, study-abroad opportunities and professional projects. Recognition from the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies validates the work I am doing and encourages me to take even larger risks with my artistry.

— Connor Voss
Dance, Class of 2013
Meriam Rosen Scholarship for Excellence in Dance

I am so thrilled to receive the Carolyn and Carl Fichtel Scholarship. It gives me the opportunity to explore and further my talents and passion for music and the arts. Because of the warmth and generosity of my scholarship donors, I am convinced that my life is being shaped in a better future.

— Lorena Tagle
Piano Performance and Pre-Med Major, Class of 2013
Carolyn and Carl Fichtel Scholarship in Music

Shelley and Tommy Mulitz

It is so fabulous to meet these kids, to see what they can do, what they have done, what they’re going to be able to do. The students I have met at the Clarice Smith Center have inspired me to want to help the next young person.

— Shelley & Tommy Mulitz
Mulitz-Gudelsky Family Scholarship in Theatre

Faculty support

It is vital the School of Music and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies have the resources to attract accomplished and gifted faculty — artists and scholars who are at the vanguard of their disciplines and who bring new perspectives and ideas to the curriculum. Having endowed faculty chairs will enable us to attract nationally recognized leaders in the performing arts who will take our students to new levels of greatness.

The cello studio has enjoyed an unprecedented level of stimulation since the inception of the Barbara K. Steppel Memorial Faculty Fellowship in Cello. Thanks to this Fellowship, our students have worked closely with such cello greats as Pieter Wispelwey, Steven Isserlis, Bonnie Hampton and Mischa Maisky, and exciting future projects are brewing. Providing young artists direct access to these world-class musicians inspires them in a way that no other experience can.”

—Evelyn Elsing
Professor, Cello
Barbara K. Steppel Memorial Faculty Fellow

Artist Residencies

The Clarice Smith Center is committed to deepening relationships between visiting artists, campus and our local community through extended artist residencies, which may span several weeks or a whole semester, and may involve multiple visits over multiple seasons or a full year of living in the community. Each of our visiting artists provides opportunities for engagement far beyond performances through events such as workshops, pre- and post-performance discussions, master classes, blogs, community engagement initiatives and open rehearsals.

Rehearsing Haydn’s Symphony No. 90 without a conductor and with members of Orpheus has been a fantastic experience. The Orpheus members are there to guide us through the process and offer ideas related to the music or to our own productivity as an ensemble. Partnering with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has been a unique experience that will aid me in my own musical development and career.

—Kara Neil
French Horn, Class of 2012

For Orpheus, the goal has always been to build long-term relationships with presenting partners and campus communities. With our residency at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, we have the chance to know audiences and students and bring together different parts of the university. We are better able to demonstrate what’s different about how we make music, and share our perspective about how music and the arts are connected to people’s everyday lives.

—Ronnie Bauch
Artistic Director, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Daniel Phoenix Singh taught an excellent, highly focused and energized class.  In addition to the students enjoying his movement and teaching style, his being an alumnus clearly gave them something to aspire to beyond this one class. He presented a form of dance that expanded the students’ horizon—they gobbled it up and asked for more opportunities!

—Patrik Widrig
Associate Professor, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

In training young singers, there is no substitute for live interaction. Only established artists can pass on the traditions and practices required to secure the legacy of our offering. Only in the crucible of performance with a mentor can a young singer make the transition from pupil to professional.

—Gran Wilson
Associate Professor, UMD School of Music

It is a surreal experience to work with the members of an ensemble who inspired you so much in the initial stages of your creative journey. Kronos Quartet has not only been cordial, supportive, and very communicative, but they have also pushed me to compose a piece which exceeds my previous expressive boundaries. The end result is a piece through which I found new ways in which to move forward in my artistic process. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this residency program.

—Mark Nowakowski
Alumnus, UMD School of Music
Following the reading of his composition String Quartet #2 – Grandfather Songs by Kronos Quartet

Commissioning new works of art

One of the purposes of a research university is to contribute to the store of human knowledge. By commissioning new work, we make that contribution. Our primary interest in supporting new work lies in illuminating the creative process for our communities. This requires ongoing two-way communication between the Center and the artist, which we use to find ways to bring the public into the process. Artists with whom we partner share our desire to increase engagement between the public and artists, so commissioning creates a foundation for extended residencies and learning opportunities.

It’s extraordinary to have this long relationship with the Center…the staff and the crew have been so willing to push the parameters of what art making is, and what our presentation can be.

—Margaret Jenkins
Artistic Director, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company

Sponsoring performances

The Clarice Smith Center engages artists whose programs have the power to move us and change the way we live in the world. Fees for our visiting artists represent a significant portion of the Center’s operating budget and it is only through the generosity of donors that we can continue to work with artists who deepen our community’s connection to the artistic traditions of the world and contemporary culture.

Name a Seat

Celebrate the meaningful people and events in your life by contributing to our Name a Seat campaign. By naming a seat at the Center, you can: honor a loved one, thank someone who transformed your life, celebrate family and tradition, commemorate a milestone event like commencement, a birthday or an anniversary, reaffirm your connection to the Center. In addition to leaving a personal legacy, your contribution will provide life-changing opportunities for our students and community, as well as support for our artists in their work.

For more information on naming a seat, please contact Scott Eichinger at 301.405.5550

Piano fund

In every field, there are essential tools that make us stronger. In the performing arts, the piano is such a tool, providing rhythm and music for dance, live accompaniment for musical theatre and all the sounds of the orchestra in a single instrument. The Center was fortunate to be able to purchase a large number of new pianos when it opened. A piano endowment allows us to maintain these great instruments and purchase new ones to support teaching and enhance performance. What could be more fitting for the home of the International Piano Archives at Maryland and our talented students and faculty?

For more information, please contact Edward Lewis at 301.405.8178.