On September 16th, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts marks a major milestone: the 10th anniversary of its first performance as the city's main venue for presenting national and international artists and shows.
In a far-ranging interview on GLT's Sound Ideas, executive director Tina Salamone looked forward to the season ahead and said the arts center enters its second decade in strong financial shape.
"The BCPA is a little more singular (compared to other arts centers) in that it's owned by the city of Bloomington and our funding comes out of the general fund. We get a wonderful head start there" to plan ahead for each season, Salamone said.
Income generated from ticket sales, rentals of the building for outside events as well as funds from grants, donations and sponsorships then goes back into the city's general fund, Salamone said.
"Like all not-for- profit arts centers we end up with with a small subsidy at the end," Salamone said. The goal for the BCPA is to eventually give back as much or more than it takes from the city budget.
"Our percentage in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, which is where the BCPA sits, is well ahead of the national average in terms of giving back money that's given to us," Salamone said. "We do suffer some losses but it's not anywhere near as high as the national average, so we're thankful for that."
The BCPA also acts as the city's civic center. About 550 events take place there each year, including weddings and other celebrations and classes. About 40 events are part of the performance season.
Another goal is to create a younger and more diverse audience, while maintaining the current audience, Salamone said. She said she welcomes suggestions from the public for programming.
"I certainly want to look for artists that are engaging and entertaining that have an educational component ... and that will be representative and vital to people who aren't coming to the arts center and give them a reason to come," she said.
She said she also looks for artists who are willing to offer additional programs for segments of the community that may not be able to afford the price of a BCPA ticket.
"Most of this 10th anniversary season are names that came to me from the community over the 2-1/2 years that I have been here," Salamone said.
The 2016-2017 season includes classic country performers such as The Oak Ridge Boys and newer acts including 3 Girls Rock Into A Bar, another country group, and Black Violin, which combines classical, bluegrass and R&B music.
Also on tap is a Second City-Slate magazine election year comedy review; a musical revue about Route 66; a performance poetry group; the Broadway musical "Annie," and a reunion tour of members of sixties and seventies rock groups, including Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Three Dog Night and Paul Revere and the Raiders, among other others.