What is Ewing Cultural Center?
The Ewing Cultural Center includes three properties located at 48 Sunset Road in Bloomington, IL - Ewing Manor, the Theatre at Ewing, and the Genevieve Green Gardens. All three properties are privately owned by the Illinois State University Foundation and thus receive no State of Illinois or University financial support.
Hazle Buck Ewing left Ewing Manor to the ISU Foundation through an estate gift at the time of her death in 1969. The facility is host to many different types of events throughout the year. The Theatre at Ewing was built in 2000 as a permanent home for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. And, the Genevieve Green Gardens, completed in 2007, were created from a generous estate gift from Bruce Green to the ISU Foundation to build a garden to honor his beloved wife, Genevieve.
How far in advance should I reserve a date?
Bookings for wedding ceremonies and/or receptions can be made as early as January 1 of the preceding year. It is recommended that you contact the Ewing staff as early as possible, as spring and fall dates tend to book quickly. Ewing Cultural Center is home to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the facility is offline for weddings from July through mid-August.
How many guests can be accommodated at Ewing Cultural Center?
Receptions in the courtyard can accommodate 150 guest, receptions on the south lawn can accommodate up to 200 guest.
What are the hours for weddings?
All weddings may use the Ewing property from Noon - 11:30 p.m.. Catering staff, musicians, DJ, florist etc. may begin setting up at noon the day of the wedding. Music must end at 10:30 p.m.. The wedding party and guest must be off the Ewing property by 11:30 p.m..
Can alcohol be served?
Alcohol may be served according to state and local, Bloomington, IL, regulations. A licensed and insured vendor must pour all alcohol. Proof of liquor liability insurance is required. In addition, renters are asked to secure a host liability policy for their own protection.
Is there an approved list of caterers and vendors I must use?
A list of both caterers and vendors is available; however, you may use providers of your choice. Caterers and vendors not on the list are required to meet with the Ewing staff in advance of contracts to make sure they understand the unique facilities and to provide their certificates of insurance.
What is provided in the rental fee?
Your fee provides you access to the Manor's main floor & lower level, and the Genevieve Green Gardens on the day of your event. Weddings have access to the restrooms on the lower level of the Manor as well as the outdoor restroom facility. When the reception begins, access into the manor is limited to the wedding party and cater. A two-bay garage located just off the courtyard is available for use, as is a covered rotunda and archway. Electrical panels are available to provide power needs for both the north lawn and courtyard areas (extension cords are not included). All tents, tables and chairs, linens, catering, dishes, PA equipment, and other equipment for outdoor events must be contracted with the vendor of the renter's choice. Inside the Manor, tables and chairs, a piano and stereo system is available.
What about decorating for my event?
All decor ideas must be coordinated with the Ewing staff prior to confirming arrangements. For example, rice, bird seed, sparklers, confetti, and open flames are not allowed. Access to outdoor areas is available on the day of your event. Please remember that the Genevieve Green Gardens are open to the public, and Ewing does not assume responsibility for the security of equipment or other items. Access to the Manor, including restrooms begins at noon.
As you think about decor, keep in mind the Manor and the Gardens/Courtyard should be left in the same condition as prior to your event. Everything you bring must be removed.
Where is parking for the wedding party and guests?
Parking for everyone is at St. John's Lutheran Church just across the street from the pedestrian entrance of Ewing Manor at the corner of Emerson Street and Towanda Avenue (it is against the law to cross Emerson Street at any other location). You should include the Church's street address for electronic directional assistance-- 1617 Emerson Street, Bloomington, IL 61701.
Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities have access to handicapped parking at St John's Lutheran Church. If they wish, they may be dropped off in the driveway of Ewing Cultural Center located at 48 Sunset Road. The drive is located on the east side of Sunset Road. Once the party is dropped off, the car can be parked across the street until pick-up is needed. If the handicap access is needed by the driver, they may park in the courtyard or driveway if these areas are not being used for the event. If these areas are being used, arrangements can be made with the Ewing Cultural Center staff.
Is Ewing Cultural Center accessible?
The outdoor restrooms are accessible. There are steps involved to enter the Manor as well as to reach the indoor restrooms. As with many properties of this age, there are many uneven surfaces and steps. Please inquire to specific accommodations needed.
What happens if it rains?
In planning your event, the Ewing staff will ask for a rain contingency plan. Some couples who are planning a wedding on the North Lawn will either have a tent put up for the ceremony, or move to the Courtyard reception tent. It is recommended that you reserve sides for your tent.
Is Ewing a smoke-free environment?
Yes, all Ewing properties are smoke-free, including the Genevieve Green Gardens and the Courtyard. This includes smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
What is the rental fee?
The flat fee for wedding ceremonies and/or receptions is $4,000. This allows access to the Ewing property from noon - 11:30 p.m. the day of the event.
Rental fees for other events may be obtained by calling the Ewing Cultural Center (309) 438-6333.
What is the cancellation policy?
At the time of your booking, a $500 security/damage/late departure is required. $2000 is due at nine months prior to your date, $1000 at 6 months and the final payment of $1000 3 months three months from your date. If the wedding is cancelled nine months or prior to the wedding date, we will retain the initial $2,000 payment and the retainer of $500. If the date needs to be changed, Ewing Cultural Center staff will attempt to transfer the reservation to a new date. If the new date is not available, clients can choose to keep the initial date or cancel the reservation. All changes in date and cancellations must be made in writing by the client.
How can I arrange to meet with a Ewing representative?
You are welcome to visit the Genevieve Green Gardens at your convenience; the grounds are open to the public from 8 am until dusk daily. After you have reviewed the information on our website and are familiar with our policies and fee structure, please call (309) 438-6333 or email Ewing@ilstu.edu to schedule an appointment. Our business hours are from 8 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.