The Lied Center of Kansas opened on Sept. 28, 1993 and was built through the generosity of the Lied Foundation Trust. It is dedicated to Ernst F. Lied’s parents, Ernst M. and Ida K. Lied. The inaugural performance of The Secret Garden set the stage for the opening for the Lied Center and the important role it now plays for KU, Lawrence and the people of Kansas. Today, the Lied Center is the home of two outstanding performance spaces.
The main auditorium seats approximately 2,000 people and is host to Lied Center performances. It also serves as a venue for KU Department of Dance; KU School of Music; and university and community events, performances and presentations.
In 2011, the 2,400-square-foot Lied Center Pavilion opened its doors. This area serves as a performance venue and may also be transformed into a comfortable and modern location for teacher workshops, master classes, educational programs, receptions, meetings and other center activities. The 200-seat Pavilion was part of a $2.5 million project which also included an expansion of the main lobby. The Lied Foundation Trust provided funds for the project along with the William T. Kemper Foundation.
Ernst F. Lied came to the University of Kansas from Kansas City, Missouri in 1923. His father managed an automobile dealership in Kansas City. While at KU, Lied was chosen and elected to secretary of the Sphinx Society, a freshman honorary for men. The next school year Lied’s classmates voted him vice president of the sophomore class. He made the honor roll and the University Daily Kansan described him as “one of the best known and best liked men on the Hill.” He lettered in golf in 1925—the same year the golf team took first place in the Missouri Valley League.
In the spring of 1925 Lied departed KU for the University of Nebraska when his family moved to Omaha where his father took a position at a car dealership. Lied graduated from UNL and followed in his father’s footsteps, running a successful General Motor dealership in Omaha. In 1944 Lied hired a young assistant, Christine M. Hixson of Clarinda, Iowa, fresh out of high school who attended Commercial Extension Business School.
We are grateful for the many people who share the Lied Center’s goal of providing rich and diverse performing arts experiences to people from all walks of life. To continue achieving this goal, tax-deductible gifts can be given through the KU Endowment Association. The following endowed programming and education funds have been established to support the Lied Center:
In support of chamber music:
1600 Stewart Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
Weekdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Lied Center Performances: We are open two hours before these Lied Center performances.
All Other Performances: We are open one hour before all other performances.
Hours: Weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.