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Charlotte arts center celebrates 10 years

CHARLOTTE, Nov. 17, 2013. (AP): In the 10 years since the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, it's been more than a state-of-the-art high school auditorium.

The center serves two roles—education and entertainment, said Gavin Smith, building facility director since 2006. As such, the 775-seat auditorium has hosted everything from high school musicals to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, according to the Lansing State Journal
( http://on.lsj.com/I4lVRe ).

But its main focus is on high school performances.

``Prior to the performing arts center being built plays were performed in the lecture room with set pieces being stored outdoors and brought in when needed,'' Charlotte High teacher Betsy Foster told the newspaper. ``If it rained they had to set up tents to protect the sets, which were mostly made of cardboard.''

School district voters approved a 2001 bond issue to support the $16 million center.

``All of this takes everything we produce to a higher level, which pushes our student actors, orchestra, and stage crew to achieve greatness and perform their roles as mature young adults,'' Foster said.

The 10th anniversary season lineup kicked off Saturday with Gino Federici and the Elden Kelly Orchestra presenting ``From Italy With Love: Rat Pack Style.''

Michigan-based rock band The Verve Pipe will perform there in December. In January, television and movie actor Tom Wopat will appear.

The center is self-sustaining. School district events are funded by Charlotte Public Schools. The professional acts are paid for through performance sponsors, ticket sales and donations.

It provides entertainment that is more affordable than other venues, although it's experienced a decline in professional ticket sales going back to 2008.

``Our message isn't getting out as well as we'd like,'' Smith said. ``We would like to see stronger ticket sales.''

Raising sales requires appealing to a broader audience and developing regional support.

``A lot of it comes back to who we're bringing in,'' Smith said. ``Is it something that people want to see?''

Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com


Copyright © 1989 to 2013 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/26/13 19:18:14 -0800.




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