Dr. Kent Tingey, Idaho State University's vice president for university advancement, stands outside ISU's Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello.
One of the nation’s most prestigious performing arts centers attracting top musicians and artists from throughout the world can be found in Pocatello – of all places.
Not many people would consider Idaho a cultural mecca, but Idaho State University’s $35 million L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center ranks among the best venues for concerts and performances anywhere.
The majestic Stephens Center prominently occupies nearly 17 acres atop Bartz Hill overlooking the ISU campus and the Portneuf Valley. Many Idahoans consider the Stephens Center one of the Gem State’s many crown cultural jewels.
“It’s made an unbelievable impact on the community and the state,” said Dr. Kent Tingey, ISU’s vice president for university advancement, estimating that economic impact in multi millions of dollars.
In 1998, Thelma Stephens, widow of L.E. Stephens, a potato industry pioneer, gave ISU $10 million as seed money for the project. The Stephenses were close friends of former ISU athletics director Milton “Dubby” Holt after whom ISU’s Holt Arena is named. She died in September 2006 at the age of 98. (more…)