Hayes Center announces new programs
As it reached the midpoint of the 2011 season, the Hayes Performing Arts Center invited local members of the business community to a presentation inside the Hayes Theatre that revealed some new changes for the second half of the season, ending in October.
Todd Morgan, managing director, shared the results of the season thus far and introduced three new programs designed to reach out to the local business community, connect with supporters and make the arts more accessible to a greater number of people. He ended by covering the list of world-class entertainers on tap for the Center in September and October.
In addition to continuing with the season as announced earlier in the year, Morgan introduced three new programs. They include: A new, reduced pricing structure beginning in September, a hospitality referral program and a new affinity group of Hayes Center supporters.
"We learned a lot during the past few months and realized that ticket pricing has been one piece of feedback we believe needed to be addressed," Morgan said.
The new pricing reduced ticket prices on the remaining shows to $25 and $30 levels on most shows.
The hospitality program works with local hotels, restaurants, retailers and the like in offering to out-of-town guests a $5-off voucher for tickets. Participation in the program is free.
"For those who work with our guests, the program will provide them with a little surprise to offer to people that will help add to their High Country experience," Morgan said. "We also will reward those businesses and organizations actively involved in the program who generate the most number of people using the vouchers. Everybody wins when guests to our area are happy, and we are all in the tourism business."
Morgan noted that volunteers will work with local businesses next week in providing the materials they need for the program.
The affinity group, called The World Class Friends program, will reward people who visit often by offering a special discount program, invitations to member-only events and other types of personalized treatment. "We believe this is a way to thank those who want to visit often," Morgan said.
Membership is free, and information is available at the box office.
In reviewing the season, Morgan explained that the center has presented 13 acts so far this season, beginning in May. The Kingston Trio has been the biggest hit thus far with nearly 700 in attendance over two performances on Sunday, July 3.
"We've received positive reactions from the audiences and have asked for feedback as they left the show," Morgan said. "We're finding that they didn't expect such high quality entertainment in Blowing Rock. Constructive criticism helps us get better and is important in our first season back. The audiences are letting us know what they enjoy and want to see more of."
Coming attractions for the rest of the season include the musical comedy, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," Paul Taylor dance group Taylor 2, Guy Penrod, "Commedia Cinderella," "Dancing with the High Country Stars" and the Lonesome River Band. Details can be found at http://www.hayescenter.org.
The Hayes Performing Arts Center, a nonprofit organization, is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road, just off U.S. 321, in Blowing Rock. For more information, visit http://www.hayescenter.org or (828) 295-9627.