The mission of the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts is to be a creative force and community resource providing cultural experiences for Newaygo County and surrounding areas.
The opening of the $7 million dollar facility in July 2002 was a fulfillment of a dream that began with Dan and Dorothy Gerber. Scotti Merrill, the Gerber’s daughter, and long-time family friend Ted Johnson spearheaded the effort by forming the Art Center for Newaygo County, a non-profit organization dedicated to planning, building, and maintaining the Dogwood Center. Through grants from the Fremont Area Community Foundation and very generous gifts from community members, the Dogwood Center now is an incredible cultural venue and resource for the entire area.
The dedicated community members who serve as the Board of Directors include: Ken DeLaat – Chairperson, Mabel Casey – Vice-Chair, Lisa Jahr – Secretary, Jodi DeKuiper – Treasurer, Mark Miller, Diane Purgiel, Rhonda Buter, Sherrie Harris, Therese Cosan, Terrie Ortwein, Jason O’Connell, Tracy Streichhrisch, and Danielle Merrill – Ex-Officio.
The Dogwood Center provides exceptional quality programs. Over the past few years the Occidental Gypsy, John Waite, Marshall Crenshaw, Christian Howes Quitent, The String Doctors, Sandi Patty, Sweet Tea Trio, Livingston Taylor, David Lindley, Joshua Davis, Rumer Willis, Mandy Barnett, Tiffany, Crystal Bowersox, Hilary Kole, The Accidentals, Rory Block, Aquila Theatre, Harpeth Rising, Sarah Potenza, Satellite Collective, Jeff Daniels, Matt Giraurd, Judy Collins, The Ragbirds, Cashore Marionettes, Dogwood Summer Youth Theater, Raion Taiko Drumming, Grand Rapids Ballet, Drew Nelson, The Acting Company of New York, Dave Bennett Sextet, Kari Lynch Band, Braunschweiger Blues Band, Delilah DeWylde, Crane Wives, An Dro, Verve Pipe, Chris Smither, Grand Rapids Symphony, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Chris Smither, Kathy Lamar, Watching for Foxes, Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s “A Christmas Carol”, Vincent Hayes Project, Ralston Bowles, Edye Evans Hyde, Kenny White, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Empire Brass, Mark O-Connor, Janis Ian, and John Berry all performed at the Dogwood plus much, much more!