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Mary Anderson Arts Center

The Mary Anderson Arts Center functions as a working art studio for artists of all ages. The clay room features a kiln and potters wheels, while the other arts are taught and practiced in the adjacent room. Novice and veteran artists can use the center to host art-inspired camps, birthday parties, women’s groups, and more.

The McPherson Arts Alliance, whose office is across the hall from the Arts Center, programs a number of classes for all ages. During summer, the McPherson Recreation Commission provides art classes for youth.

The Arts Center rooms can also be rented for non-arts purposes.

To Honor their Mother

Mary Anderson Arts Center Entry

To honor their mother Mary, now deceased, the children of Chet and Mary Anderson – Kirsten, Kathleen, Melinda, Chris and Eric – have chosen the Arts Center as a named gift.

Speaking on behalf of his siblings, Eric Anderson said, “When she was a girl, Mary Sundahl Anderson had some dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but her life took other directions. Although fine arts were not a major part of her life, she saw their unique value. She celebrated them in many ways. She believed in their importance as a way of enriching her life and the life of the community. She passed that belief on to her children and grandchildren.

“Art is not only a product or activity but is also a way of conducting your life inventively and generously. As a wife and mother and friend to so many, Mary’s approach to life was fundamentally creative. So the Anderson family wishes to acknowledge, by making possible the arts center, not only their mother’s appreciation of the arts but also her special attitude toward living. We believe to have a place in McPherson whose sole purpose is to foster creativity would please our mother very much.”

On February 2, 1921, Chester (Chet) Anderson, as a seven-year-old child, saw David Björling and his three sons, Gösta, Jussi, and Olle perform on the stage of the McPherson Opera House. Jussi Björling went on to become one of the most celebrated operatic tenors of the 20th Century.

Chet retained a strong memory of that day, and he, his wife Mary, and their children were early and consistent supporters of the rehabilitation of the McPherson Opera House. In addition to funding the Mary Anderson Arts Center, the Anderson siblings also funded the auditorium stage, named after Jussi Björling.

The Ketcherside Family Foundation is also supportive of the arts and provided a generous grant to furnish the two Arts Center rooms.


Victorian stencil used during the renovation of the McPherson Opera House

The McPherson Opera House,
with its six unique rental spaces used singly or in combination,
offers the perfect solution for every occasion, business or family.

219 South Main Street
PO Box 333
McPherson, KS 67460

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McPherson Opera House Auditorium McPherson Opera House Grand Ballroom NCRA Meeting Room Rose Morris Conference Room Mary Anderson Arts Center Room 1 Mary Anderson Arts Center Room 2

Host your next event at the McPherson Opera House for an artfully decorated setting, high-tech conveniences, and exceptional service. Centrally located off Interstate 135 – 50 miles north of Wichita – the McPherson Opera House offers a convenient destination for your next business meeting, family reunion, wedding reception, or other event. Please explore the Rental Facilities page for more information.