Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts

"The Hett" is Southern Illinois' premier performing arts venue, presenting world class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. The 488-seat auditorium is located on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Illinois, 25 miles from St. Louis.

NOTICE: McKendree University and the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts holds the health and safety of its students, community and patrons as a first priority. Acting in accordance with best practices and new guidelines and recommendations issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding public gatherings and community events, all events and performances (internal, hosted or rented) scheduled at the Hett through April 15, 2020, have been cancelled or rescheduled, effectively immediately. These events include Shakespeare Festival St. Louis “Cymbeline” (March 16), Young People’s Concert (March 19), TAO DRUM (March 24), The ReMINDers (April 6), and speaker, Ishmael Beah (April 15).

The Hett Box Office will be contacting all paid ticket holders via email with directions how to exchange their tickets or receive a credit. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process.


Play the The ReMINDers Video


The ReMINDers

Monday, April 6, 2020, @ 10:00 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. - RESCHEDULING

This event is being RESCHEDULED for the 20-21 McKendree Presents season. All current ticket holders will be contacted by the box office about their ticket disposition options.


The ReMINDers’ unique mashup of razor sharp rhymes; raw, soulful vocals; and reggae-tinged hip-hop beats form the backdrop for their relevant and inspiring themes. The duo seamlessly blends soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. Brussels-born emcee Big Samir weaves intricate rhythmic patterns with a bilingual French-English flow, complemented by Aja Black’s confident delivery and unique vocals. Married for almost a decade, they share an undeniable chemistry.

The ReMINDers released their debut album “Recollect” in 2008, followed by “Born Champions” in 2012. They have shared the stage with Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill, Fishbone, Nas, Mos Def, Big Boi and others, garnering international acclaim. Beyond their performances, the duo often works with community organizations, schools, and universities to deliver workshops, talks, and special performances.

Interests: Music, Art, Communication, Marketing, PR, Sociology, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Education, Political Science, English

Performance Series button  Arts Education



Play the Ishmael Beah Video


Ishmael Beah, Human Rights Activist and Writer - RESCHEDULED

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, @ 7:30 p.m.

This event has been RESCHEDULED for the 20-21 McKendree Presents season. All current ticket holders will be contacted by the box office about their ticket disposition options.


    • UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War

    • Human Rights Watch Children’s Advisory Committee member

    • Author of A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; and Radiance of Tomorrow

Ishmael Beah wants to put a human face on the suffering of children forced to go to war. In 1991, at the outbreak of a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa, his parents and two brothers were killed and he was forcibly recruited to become a soldier at age 13. After two years, with UNICEF help, he was removed from the army and placed in a rehabilitation home.

At the 1996 United Nations presentation of the Machel Report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, Beah spoke about the devastating effects of war on children in his country. At the 2000 UN Special Session on Children, he served on the panel, “Reclaiming Our Children: The UN Responds to the Plight of the Child Soldier,” with then-Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN agency officials. Today, as a human rights activist and author, he continues his advocacy for thousands of children trapped in wars.

McKendree University hosts an on-campus Model United Nations conference for local high schools. Currently 15 schools and over 300 students attend this conference each semester. McKendree has hosted this conference for over 40 years - it is one of the longest-running Model UN conferences in the country!

Interests: Political Science, Communication, International Studies, Sociology, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, English

Distinguished Speaker Series button