"We made our first gift to Hancher 30 years ago. Since then, we feel our annual gifts have been an excellent investment."

Iowa City, Iowa

Miriam and Arthur Canter have lived in Iowa City since 1960, moving here (or moving back, since they’d both been students here earlier) when Arthur, who completed his Ph.D. at The University of Iowa in Clinical Psychology, was invited to join the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine.

The couple remembers well when the auditorium first opened its doors in 1972. When they attended the inaugural performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, they knew then that Hancher’s presence would change this community forever.

Feeling strongly that they wanted to do their part to help Hancher thrive, the Canters made their first gift in 1976; through the years they have increased their giving, and are now proud contributors at the Hancher Inner Circle level.

“Hancher is a major factor contributing to our quality of life here,” says Arthur. “Not every community is fortunate enough to have a resource like this.”

The couple appreciates the diversity of the Hancher artists. Primarily fans of classical music (Arthur particularly takes pleasure in writing program notes for these concerts), they also love dance, jazz, and theatre—and enjoy the opportunity to experience artists from around the globe, from Asian dance to African song. “So many individuals and businesses in the community partner with Hancher to make this amazing range of performances possible,” says Arthur.

The Canters especially value Hancher’s commitment to young audiences. Thanks to generous private support, Hancher’s educational programming reaches out across the state, emphasizing that the children who learn to appreciate the arts today will be tomorrow’s audiences.

Hancher welcomes all donors—from those who give annually to provide immediate support for each season, to those who are able to make additional outright or deferred gifts in support of Hancher’s endowment and the future quality of its offerings.

“Each year we look forward to a new season of great performances, and each season we renew our commitment to Hancher as a valued part of this community,” says Miriam. “We simply could not imagine Iowa without Hancher. And it is up to those of us who love Hancher to ensure that it remains a quality arts presenter. It’s not the amount of the gift that matters—it is the consistency and commitment of the giver.”

She adds, “When we support an organization, most of us want reassurance that our gifts are making a difference. Each time we attend a Hancher performance, we can see exactly how our gift is benefiting the artists and hundreds of appreciative audience members.”