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About Us

The Sturges-Young Center for the Arts is a large, multi-purpose facility equipped to provide an exciting experience whether you're enjoying one of our quality performances on the main stage or hosting your special event in one of our many spacious rooms. The flexible event space, convenient location, professional friendly staff, and affordable rates are just some of the reasons why the Sturges-Young Center for the Arts is the premier events space in the area. The center is located in downtown Sturgis, Michigan, 2 miles from Indiana Toll Road, halfway between Detroit and Chicago, and an hour south of Kalamazoo. The multi-purpose event venue includes a 960+ seat auditorium, 200 seat ballroom space, and lower-level meeting rooms hosting various year-round events, including concerts, dances, live stage plays, art shows, films, and more. Event rentals include weddings, showers, class reunions, memorial services, business meetings and conferences, and social events.
 

Registered in the roster of Michigan Historical Places, the Sturges-Young stage has hosted a multitude of diverse talents in its storied 67-year history including the final 2 performances of the late, great Duke Ellington, a month before his passing in the Spring of 1974.
 

Built in 1955, the Sturges-Young Center for the Arts (formerly the Sturges-Young Auditorium and Civic Center) features distinct Mid-Century Modern architectural details including limestone block, Roman brickwork, slate tile flooring, and raw cypress paneling.
 

The Sturges-Young Center for the Arts is one of the premier event spaces in Southeast Michigan, offering something for everyone!

History

Desiring a civic auditorium that could be used for multiple purposes since the 1930s, the City of Sturgis saw generous estate grants from three different philanthropically minded women make the Sturges-Young a dream come true. Emma D. Young left more than $400,000 to the city expressly for the creation of a cultural center. After the passing of her sister Stella Sturges-Taylor, Clara Sturges created the Albert and Jane A. Sturges memorial funds, and under the guidance of their trustee, Raymond Dresser, Sr., the two estates were combined to bring the project to fruition. The land was gifted from the Sturgis Public Schools, as the main High School was located directly across the street and the project would allow for expansion of the music and theater programs.
 

Designed by Ft. Wayne Architect A. M. Strauss, the Mid-Century Modern décor incorporated a warm, inviting appearance for the times, and the architectural details have been preserved and restored over the years. Carved in relief on a large section of concrete is the striking façade, a sculpture by artist Ivan Adams of Bloomington, Indiana, representing a combination of objects associated with the use of an auditorium: a lyre, a lute, Greek comedy and tragedy masks, a microphone and a swirling reel of movie film.
 

The Sturgis Rotary Club was the first local service organization to use the ballroom space in celebration of the golden anniversary of Rotary International, and Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, and Exchange Clubs all continue to use the Sturges-Young for their weekly meetings. The Sturgis Men’s Choir was the first public event held on the stage at Sturges-Young on May 22, 1955.

Swinging Sammy Kaye and his Band was one of the first touring performers to appear on stage in the summer of 1956. The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Count Basie, Luis Rivera, Marty Haggard, Glen Campbell, The Guess Who, Gallagher, and Jeff Daniels have all graced the stage over the years. The incomparable Duke Ellington performed his final shows here a month before his passing in 1974. For almost 70 years the Sturges-Young has entertained patrons with the best professional and local talent available, provided a beautiful venue for public and private events and weddings, and welcomed thousands of locals and visitors annually.

Sturges-Young Center for the Arts

bringing Sturgis together since 1955

Sturges-Young Center for the Arts

201 N. Nottawa Street, Sturgis, Michigan 49091

(269) 651-8541   |   ArtsInfo@sturgismi.gov

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