Staying Sustainable

Article Published: Nov. 25, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Staying Sustainable

Blowing Rock's Hayes Performing Arts Center has appointed a repositioning team that will be responsible for working with arts consultant Deidre Simmons to develop a sustainable business model for the Hayes Center moving forward, center officials said.

At the end of its summer season, the center and the Blowing Rock Stage Company announced it would suspend operations for a limited period of time.

Kenneth Kay, then-interim executive director and producing artistic director, resigned following the announcement.

The team is scheduled to meet in early December and will develop the plan over the next several months, reporting regularly to the center's board of trustees.

"As a result of Deidre Simmons' work the week of October 13-16, 2009, and her official engagement by the board of trustees of the Hayes Performing Arts Center, it is apparent that the team of individuals needed to successfully reposition the Hayes Center within the community must be broader in scope," board chairman Ron Bryson said.

"It is also apparent that this team must be comprised of community citizens with a passion for the Hayes Center and with the skill set necessary to ensure valuable, successful participation as a team member."

In October of this year, Simmons interviewed 22 individuals in the region regarding the future of the Hayes Center. Two things were very clear from these meetings, according to Simmons. She said, "There was an overwhelming response from all individuals interviewed that the board and community should find a way to reopen the Hayes Center."

Additionally, it became clear through her meetings that the Hayes Center needs to be regional in scope if it is to succeed. Team members range from representatives from both Appalachian State University and Lees-McRae College, to business owners and residents of Blowing Rock and Boone, as well as seasonal residents. At the recommendation of the North Carolina Arts Council, Noelle Scott, the executive director of the Cabarrus Arts Council, has also agreed to serve on the team.

Repositioning Team Members as of this date are:
Dr. Ira Abrams, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University; Chuck Ball, managing director, Andlinger & Company, and seasonal resident; Ron Bryson, vice president, Merrill Lynch, and chairman of the board of the Hayes Center; Sue Chase, seasonal resident and arts patron; Eric Davidson, general manager, Blowing Rock Country Club, and vice president of the board of trustees; Marcia Greene, marketing director, Chetola Resort; Karyn Kennedy Herterich, owner, Serves You Right, board member National Trustees, NSO, Kennedy Center, DC; Noelle Scott, executive director, Cabarrus Arts Council; Dr. Janet Speer, chairwoman of the performing arts division of Lees-McRae College and director of the Lees-McRae Summer Theatre; Ginny Stevens, secretary of the board and community volunteer; Keith Tester, owner, De Provence et d'ailleurs, and outgoing town commissioner.

Ex-officio members include Rick Suyao, marketing director, and Allison West, development director, the two current staff members of the Hayes Center.

Pat Mauldin, community volunteer and seasonal resident, is serving as an advisory member to the team. The team will be headed by Ron Bryson, chairman of the board, and Deidre Simmons, arts management consultant.

For updates, visit frequently or call the box office at (828) 295-9627. For questions, call Allison West at (828) 295-0112 x6.

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