Next season, Wharton Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary. During those 40 years, there have been only three executive directors, Ken Beachler (1982-1992), Bill Wright (1992-2004), and Mike Brand. After 17 years as Executive Director, Brand has announced this will be his final season at Wharton Center, retiring by June 2022.
Wharton Center has experienced significant growth under Brand’s leadership. When he took over as Executive Director in 2003, Wharton’s annual budget was $5 million, with 97,000 tickets sold. In 2019, Wharton Center was on track to sell almost 140,000 tickets with a budget of $16 million. Brand’s leadership has continued through the pandemic, with the 21-22 season signaling Wharton Center’s return to the stage with a lineup of programming, including Leslie Odom, Jr., Itzhak Perlman, and the return of Hamilton.
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