SkyPac

Kevin Willis

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is holding a town hall meeting to gather suggestions on ways to improve arts education.

SKyPAC is hosting the meeting Thursday, Aug. 4.

SKyPAC education outreach coordinator Joshua Miller says the goal is to get feedback from community members, educators, and artists about the center’s outreach efforts aimed at young people.

“What you’re investing in is potentially the citizen for the next 30 years of where you’re living. I think it’s just important that we pore into them, and create opportunities for the youth--as well as the community--to express, to collaborate, to be together in spaces, especially with everything going on in our society today.”

Miller says those attending will be asked for input on the following questions:

Emil Moffatt

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center has named Rick McCue has its permanent executive director.

Rick McCue was named interim executive director of SKyPac in May, after the group parted ways with Jan Zarr.

McCue is a former Vice-President and General Manager of WBKO Television in Bowling Green.

In a statement released by SKYPAC Tuesday,  McCue said the facility and its mission have been a passion of his since it opened in 2012.

SKyPAC is a 1,743 seat auditorium that is home to Orchestra Kentucky, and traveling musical and arts performances.

SKyPAC

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green is looking for a new leader.

SKyPAC Foundation Board Chair Katherine Sikora released a statement Friday afternoon saying Jan Zarr was no longer the group’s executive director.

Zarr took the position in March of 2014.

The statement gave no reason behind his departure.

"Jan has seen SKyPAC through a period of transition and we appreciate his efforts," Sikora said in the statement.

Sikora says the board of directors has named former WBKO Television Vice President and General Manager Rick McCue interim executive director.

Zarr helped open the Bowling Green-based arts center before taking a job as director with the Topeka Performing Arts Center in Kansas. He then returned to Bowling Green to take the SKyPAC executive director position.

Emil Moffatt

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green is receiving a $750,000 gift aimed at supporting arts education in the Scottsville area.

SKyPAC announced the gift from the Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation Wednesday. A news release issued by the performing arts center said $500,000 of the gift will be used over the next five years to support SKyPAC’s Arts-In-Education program in Allen County schools.

The remaining $250,000 will be used as a matching grant to support the Engaging HeARTs—Enriching Lives campaign, which aims to raise $6 million over the next three years to support arts education, local performances, and entertainment.

The Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation’s mission is to provide support to residents of the Scottsville-Allen County area.

Emil Moffatt

Three days after the resignation of SKyPAC’s executive director and CEO, the Bowling Green-based performing arts center has confirmed that it is laying off five employees. 

The vice chairwoman of the SKyPAC Foundation board tells the Daily News that SKyPAC may have been “overstaffed in some areas”.  Names of those who lost their jobs have not been made public.  No other layoffs are expected. 

CEO and Executive Director Tom Tomlinson departed last week for a job with another performing arts center outside of Kentucky.

Emil Moffatt

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is searching for a new leader.

SKyPAC executive director and CEO Tom Tomlinson is leaving the Bowling Green-based organization to lead a new performing arts center outside the state.

Tomlinson was hired in early 2012 to lead SKyPAC following the $35 million dollar center’s opening.

A news release from SKyPAC says a search committee has been formed to find a new executive director.

Details on Tomlinson’s new job aren’t being released until next week, as the new employer requested confidentiality until then.

Larnelle Harris

It will be a homecoming of sorts Monday night at SKyPAC in Bowling Green as WKU alumnus Larnelle Harris performs at a Christmas concert with Orchestra Kentucky. 

“It’s going to be fun to get back and do this Christmas concert. It will kind of jump start our Christmas this year so we’re looking forward to it,” said Harris.  “And SKyPAC, this is a new auditorium and I think it’s going to be quite a living room and I think it’s a testament to how Bowling Green keeps moving ahead”

Throughout his four-decade career, Harris has performed at Carnegie Hall, The White House and even the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“All of those places have been great and to do the first concert at the Palace of Congresses at the Kremlin was indeed an exciting thing.  But I’ve gotta tell you, I enjoy being right here in Louisville and having the opportunity to go to my own church and sharing there has been a joy.”

Harris is a member of three Halls of Fame, and has won five Grammy awards.  Tonight’s Christmas concert is the first of two scheduled for Orchestra Kentucky this month. The group will also present A Rockin’ Christmas on December 14.

SKyPAC Discards Plans To Restore Historic Church Building

Nov 8, 2013

The future became a little murkier for a historic church building in downtown Bowling Green on Friday.

In August, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center posted a $250,000 dollar winning bid for the vacant Taylor’s Chapel A.M.E. Church.   But SKyPAC says a 90-day window to find a donor to finance the restoration of the church building has come and gone without anyone stepping forward.  SKyPAC says it will let the purchase agreement expire and has no plans for the building. 

SKyPAC’s Executive Director and CEO Tom Tomlinson says the organization won’t use operating funds to restore the church building.  

Neil Sedaka

To say Neil Sedaka’s musical career got off to a fast start would be an understatement.

“I started writing at 13 years old and had hit records by LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter and Connie Francis,” said Sedaka. “And then when I was 19, I decided, rather than give away the songs to other singers, I auditioned for RCA Victor as a singer-songwriter and they signed me to a contract.”

But as quickly as his star rose, it fizzled in the 1960s, a decade of upheaval and cultural shifts.

“I was out of work for 12 years.  You know, the music business is very trendy and fickle.  I had the opportunity to meet Elton John when I was living in England and he was starting a record company and signed me. The first single, after 12 years, was ‘Laughter in the Rain’ and it went to No. 1 on the charts here in America,” he said.

Orchestra Kentucky

An iconic musician is coming to Bowling Green for a night of firsts with Orchestra Kentucky.

In the 1970s, Keith Emerson was part of the band Emerson Lake and Palmer, a group that often combined classical music and progressive rock , catching the ear of a young Jeff Reed.

“I was a teenager and because I loved classical music and rock music, I thought it was great to hear the combination of the two styles. I think they did a lot for classical music,” said Reed.  “They took it out of the concert hall and put it through vinyl and onto young people’s turntables.  They made it a little cooler and a little bit more accessible and I’m all for that.”

Flash forward to 2013 and Reed is now musical director of Orchestra Kentucky. On Monday at SKyPAC in Bowling Green, Reed's orchestra will take the stage with Emerson.

A Bowling Green church building that first opened in the late 1800s has a new owner. But the future of the structure remains unclear.

The red-brick building that once housed Taylor’s Chapel AME church is surrounded on three sides by property owned by the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.  In an auction Thursday afternoon, SKyPAC submitted a winning, $250,000 bid for the 141-year-old building on E. Seventh Avenue. 

The development director with SKyPAC tells the Daily News, they have no plans to tear down the building. In fact, the organization wants to restore it, but is awaiting an architect’s report on how much that will cost, before looking for someone to fund the restoration.

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is bringing musician Darius Rucker to Bowling Green this summer.  The pop-turned-country artist will headline The Sounds of Independence Music Festival on July 27th.  SKyPAC Executive Director Tom Tomlinson believes Rucker will be a big regional draw.

"I think without a doubt he's one of the biggest names to appear here in a number of years," says Tomlinson.  "He's at least one of the biggest names we've brought here since the opening night with Vince Gill."

The downtown music festival will be a fundraiser for SKYyPAC.  Tickets go on sale Friday to the general public.  The festival will be held outside the SKYyPAC facility and will feature a number of artists, including Justin Rivers from this season of "The Voice."

Facebook

After 36 years, the curtain is closing on the Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave. According to its board of directors, the theatre is no longer able to compete for funding and patrons. Liz Fentress is among those saddened by the announcement. She currently teaches at Actors Theatre of Louisville, but says some of her best times were spent at the theatre in Horse Cave.

"I have memories of being in the audience watching professional performances by other people. I have memories of directing fine actors, Warren Hammack and Pamela White being at the top of the list. "And I have wonderful memories of performing there myself," said Fentress.

In addition to professional acting, the Kentucky Repertory Theatre also served as a training ground for young talent. Since it opened in 1977, the theater staged 230 productions. 

Board of Directors Chairwoman Lyn Taylor Long says economic challenges were just too great to overcome, including a loss of major donors.

Several regional arts groups are combining efforts to bring Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" to Bowling Green.

Monday's performance will feature Orchestra Kentucky, the University of Louisville Collegiate Choir, the Murray State Concert Choir, and students from Briarwood and Richardsville Elementary Schools in Bowling Green.

Lee Stott spoke to members of the groups about the origins of the text used by Orff in his famous cantata, and the difficulty of singing some of the demanding vocal parts.

The show takes place Monday, Feb. 11, at SKyPAC in Bowling Green.

About 80 citizens gathered in Bowling Green over the weekend for a public meeting on the future of the Capitol Arts Center downtown. Tom Tomlinson is executive director of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, which now operates the Capitol.  Asked if the historic venue can continue to compete with SKyPAC and WKU's Van Meter Hall, Tomlinson said "yes."

"I think it's a matter of size," said Tomlinson.  "There are activities that are appropriate for our (SKyPAC) 1,800 seats.  There are activities appropriate for the 1,100-seat Van Meter Hall, and then there are activities more appropriate for the 600 or so seats currently at the Capitol."

Based on community feedback, Tomlinson says there's a strong desire to see the Capitol used as an independent and/or foreign film venue, as well as an expansion of youth programs. 

Other public meetings are planned in the coming months.

Pages