About the Arts in KPS

play on stage At KPS, we believe that the arts are an essential piece of education and of humanity.  Students in the visual and performing arts develop a strong sense of self-confidence, achievement, imagination, cooperation, creative thinking, problem-solving, and concentration.  As educators, we know that students who participate in the arts have higher academic success as demonstrated by their grade point averages and scores on the ACT/SAT exams.  As humans, we know that these same students have a higher appreciation for the arts and culture. In other words, the students who have the experience of creating art with their own hands, and of bringing theater and music to life on our stages through performance, have taken an important step for their future success
KHS theater
The Kearney High School Concert Hall & Theatre is one of a few in the nation that was built for sound first and theater second.  This amazing venue hosts a variety of school productions each year that include a play, a musical, orchestra and vocal concerts, and speeches/presentations.  It is a premier venue in the midwest.   
center facade
Originally built in 1926, the Robert M. Merryman Performing Arts Center is the only community performing arts center in the nation located in an active elementary school building.   In 2005, Central Elementary and the theater were renovated.  With a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Merryman is a truly unique place of historical and cultural significance in Kearney, Nebraska. Hosting more than 120 events and activities annually, the Merryman welcomes over 40,000 patrons through its doors each year.  Audiences come to enjoy Merryman season performances (professional concerts, theatre productions, comedians, family shows), community events (local musicians, dance recitals, church services, weddings), and school programming (music presentations, school theatre productions, speakers) including the student-oriented Morris Matinee Series of performances.  The Merryman fosters strong relationships with many community organizations such as Kearney Public Schools, Kearney Concerts Association, Kearney Symphony Orchestra, and Crane River Theater Company, making it a popular and truly vital cultural center in Kearney.