The performances for the 2017-18 season of the Harriman-Jewell Series have been announced recently and will begin Sept. 16. Parsons Dance, who has performed with the Series 12 times so far, will be this year’s season opener.

This year will mark the 53rd season of the Harriman-Jewell Series. Along with the five free Discovery Concerts interspersed throughout the year, the Series is divided into two portions: “Great Music and Dance” and “Great Masters: The Ingram Events.” Each portion will have six events showcasing a wide variety of talents, ranging from orchestras and recitals to ballet and spiritual choirs.

“We try to be an arbiter of culture to shape the cultural experience,” says Clark Morris, William Jewell College’s Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director and Artistic Director of the Harriman-Jewell Series.

Morris, alongside other members of the Harriman-Jewell Office, has a hand in picking performances every season. The process is very much in-house for the College.  Harriman-Jewell employees study potential new acts and travel to cultural centers, such as New York City, to see their performances live. In addition, the Series’ founder, Richard L. Harriman, was an English professor at Jewell, and his quest to bring a wide variety of acts to young and old alike lives on at WJC.

“We absolutely want students to go,” Morris says.

WJC provides both complimentary tickets for current students for every performance and a special alumni night is set aside every year that allows former students to attend performances at greatly reduced prices. This serves not only to continue the original spirit of the Series, but also as a part of its renewed initiative to bring in younger guests. Another part of this initiative are the Discovery Concerts Series, which were created to cater to a new generation of performing arts aficionados by removing price barriers and giving up-and-coming acts a chance to perform on stages like the Kauffman Center.

With both new and returning acts, this year’s Harriman-Jewell Series promises the same diversity of talent shown throughout previous seasons. Performers come from all across the globe in a unique opportunity for both students and the metropolitan community to witness great works of art right in Kansas City’s backyard.

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