When Jan Allan Zarr takes the reins of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center later this month, it will be a homecoming.
Zarr has been hired as the new executive director of SKyPAC, a facility he helped open. He’s been away for a year, but he told WKU Public Radio it won’t take long to get up to speed.
"The staff knows me, I know the staff," he said. "That takes off a lot of pressure and time. Normally, you come into a situation and you spend the next six months of the staff getting to know you, you getting to know the staff and how everybody works."
Zarr currently directs the Topeka Performing Arts Center in Kansas. His first day on the job in Bowling Green is March 24.
SKyPAC, now in its third season, has seen a drop off in attendance, but Zarr says that’s normal.
“You’re going to see that," replied Zarr. "We started above the bar there and outpaced ourselves starting out. What you’re seeing now is Skypac coming in where it should be.”
He says SKyPAC has seen great success and “we’re not going away.”
On Monday, five SKyPAC employees were laid off in what was described as overstaffing.
Zarr said the challenge for any performing arts center is maintaining its relevance in the community.
“If we continue to bring in quality work, quality programming, quality education, we become trusted in the community, and that’s really what it takes," he added.
Zarr replaces Tom Tomlinson, who resigned last month.