As we inch closer and closer to the massive–but exciting!–undertaking that is opening and running an arts center, we look to our friends at Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for some pointers and advice.
On Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, we hosted the majority of the Carolina Performing Arts staff here in Blacksburg.
We all gathered together to learn a little more about their organization, and then we broke into smaller groups by department for more focused question and answer sessions.
Afterwards, both groups took a tour of the new building. We hadn’t quite moved in at that point, but we were very close! Here, our executive director, Ruth Waalkes, tells everyone about the building before entering through the Turner Street entrance.
Here, both executive directors (Ruth Waalkes of the Center for the Arts and Emil Kang of Carolina Performing Arts) take a moment to pose on our stage.
We learned so much from each other that day: tried and true methods for running an arts center from them, and new ideas and different ways of thinking from us. But the learning didn’t stop there.
Earlier this month, on Thursday, October 3, 2013, Kacy McAllister, our box office manager, and Katy Baker Johnston, our house manager, took a trip down to Chapel Hill to shadow their audience services staff during the first night of a two-night performance, Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
Memorial Hall at Carolina Performing Arts seats about 400 more patrons than our Street and Davis Performance Hall, so for our patron services team, it was helpful to see how the folks at Chapel Hill staff their performances and how they handle situations like seating latecomers.
Katy says she was most excited to see how Sarah Mixter, audience services manager at Carolina Performing Arts, organized her staff and the flow of the evening.
Everyone here is so grateful for the opportunity to learn from folks who have already been doing this job for several years, and we’re excited to take on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Photos: Opening receptions for our inaugural visual art exhibitions
Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, was a very big day: it marked the first time the Moss Arts Center was open to the public.
Patrons and art enthusiasts filled the center while they explored the building, enjoyed snacks and beverages from catering services, and took in the sights and sounds during the opening receptions for our three inaugural visual art exhibitions by Jennifer Steinkamp, Leo Villareal, and Joan Grossman.
Jennifer Steinkamp, Madame Curie, 2011 / Originially commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego / Site-specific multi-channel, synchronized projection (Artist Proof) / 19 feet high x 50 feet long / Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong, and ACME Gallery, Los Angeles
Steinkamp’s work, Madame Curie, 2011, fills an entire wall of the Ruth C. Horton Gallery with glowing, flowing images of flowers, which Steinkamp created entirely out of code. The piece was inspired by scientist and Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie, and each of the flowers represented in the piece were found in Curie’s garden. Steinkamp continues to exhibit now through Sunday, Nov. 24.
Leo Villareal, Big Bang, 2008 / 1,600 light-emitting diodes; microcontroller; circuitry; and anodized aluminum / 59 x 59 x 8 inches / Courtesy of the artist and CONNERSMITH, Washington, D.C.
The artistic expression through technology continued upstairs in the Miles C. Horton, Jr. Gallery with Leo Villareal’s Digital Sublime. Four wall sculptures of LED- and computer-driven imagery illuminate the upper gallery. You can check out Villareal’s work through Sunday, Dec. 15.
Still image from This edge I have to jump / Image courtesy of Joan Grossman
Last but not least, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology commissioned visiting School of Performing Arts and Cinema Program faculty member Joan Grossman to create her multi-screen video installation This edge I have to jump. Grossman’s work will remain on exhibition through Sunday, Nov. 24.
Here are some more photos from opening night.
Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallerySee anyone you know? Were you there? Let us know in the comments!