SKyPAC Participates in #GivingTuesday, December 2nd

“We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday—Why not a day of giving during the holidays?”

GT_2014Web-Banner_250x250_RedThat question is the background buzz around the offices of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) during December. This year, SKyPAC is participating in #GivingTuesday, a flourishing national charitable giving movement with roots in local communities, and SKyPAC staff members are committed to making the fundraising project a success.



#GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014

Fundraising_RocketShip#GivingTuesday began in 2012 in New York City as a joint project of the 92nd Street YMCA and United Nations Foundations. Its purpose is to promote philanthropy during the traditional season of giving, beginning on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.

“We often complain that the holidays primarily focus on holiday shopping rather than giving,” Zarr says. “#GivingTuesday motivates people and organizations to give with a purpose by directing their charitable giving to the causes they personally support. In the case of SKyPAC, the money we raise will support our ongoing mission: ‘Engaging HeARTS. Enriching Lives.’

SKyPAC’s campaign goal is $50,000, an amount that will be matched by an anonymous donor, for total proceeds of $100,000. 

Help us reach our goal by December 2, 2014, click here to donate today!

The Power of Social Media

The theme of SKyPAC’s #GivingTuesday campaign is “The ARTS change lives . . . What’s your story?”

Through the power of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and email, SKyPAC staff members are encouraging individuals to share why they support the arts and how the arts have changed or influenced their lives. In this way, SKyPAC is promoting the campaign throughout south and central Kentucky and inspiring individuals to remember SKyPAC when planning their year-end charitable donations.

GT_Doodle_2014Turn ‘Selfies’ into #UnSelfie photos!
The #UNselfie is a simple example of how individuals can communicate their efforts to support the organization of their choice. SKyPAC is encouraging individuals to share #UNselfie photos expressing why they support the arts and telling their story on their social media channels. For more ideas on creating your own #UNselfie, visit:

Share your story and hashtag it!
GivingTuesday_GraphicYou can help SKyPAC reach its goal by watching for #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @TheSKyPAC, then sharing them with your friends. Be sure to hashtag your posts using any or all of the hashtags: #MyStorySKyPAC , #GivingTuesday, or #TheSKyPAC.


Check out our #UNselfies below from SKyPAC staff and students from W.R. McNeill Elementary School.


Happy 50th Anniversary, Rudolph!

rudolph photo: Rudolph RudolphtheRednosedReindeer.jpg

This year, “Rudolph,” the bashful reindeer whose shiny red nose made him the target of merciless taunting by the other reindeer in Christmasville, truly goes “down in history.” It has been 50 years since the much-loved holiday special first aired on television. And during those five decades, we have sympathized with Rudolph’s sad plight and cheered his ultimate victory as Santa chose him to lead the sleigh team on a particularly snowy Christmas Eve.

 “My family would gather in front of the television, wearing our comfy Christmas pajamas and enjoying egg nog and popcorn. The kids were so excited knowing that after they went to sleep, Santa would come and leave toys all around the tree.” –Erin Biggers, SKyPAC Marketing Associate

“Reginald” the Reindeer?

But do you know that Rudolph’s history actually dates back to 1939 and involves Chicago-based retailer Montgomery Ward? After many years of buying and giving away thousands of children’s Christmas books, the retailer decided that creating its own book would save money. Ward’s copywriter Robert L. May was assigned the task.

May considered a number of names for the ill-treated reindeer, including Rollo and Reginald, before settling on Rudolph. (Can you imagine singing “Reginald the red nose reindeer?”)

In its first year of publication, 2.5 million copies of Rudolph’s story were distributed by Montgomery Ward.

rudolph photo: Rudolph YoureCute.jpg

In 1948, May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, also a Ward’s employee, set the poem to music. The song was turned down by Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore before eventually being recorded by Gene Autry. The song was released in 1949. It skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart and went on to become the seasonal standard it is today. In fact, with the exception of “White Christmas,” Rudolph has sold more records than any other Christmas song.

“My daughter, who is 2 ½ years old, loves the songs and sings along. And she knows all of the reindeer’s names.” Janelle Johnson, Campaign Manager at SKyPAC 

Rudolph’s Television Debut

In 1964, “Rudolph” was filmed in Japan in a new format called “stop-motion.” The sound was recorded in Toronto, Canada. In the process, the story was altered from the original version.  When it premiered on NBC, it included Hermey, an outcast elf like Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, a prospector searching for wealth, Clarice, Rudolph’s love interest, and Bumble, the Abominable Snowman.

“I was afraid of the monster! I always watched that part with my eyes closed.” –Deborah Stein, SKyPAC Development Associate

The second film version also included “misfit toys” being dropped to the homes of children who found and loved them. This change was urged by viewers who wanted a happy ending for each toy.

rudolph photo: Rudolph SantaAndRudolphWallpaper1.jpgrudolph reindeer photo: Rudolph Build-A-Bear20Rudolph.jpg

Rudolph Goes Home to Chicago

In December 2013, Rudolph returned to Chicago, the home of Montgomery Ward’s and Rudolph’s birthplace. Dennis Polkow, the reviewer at Chicago’s Emerald City Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse on Water Tower Place said:

Most worthwhile about this experience is its message of acceptance and diversity which the cast delivers with verve and cheer. Rudolph generates considerable empathy for [the] first-time live-theater goers I had along with me . . . They loved the show and got the point without being hit over the head with it. All while still being immensely entertained. Dennis Polkow

It has also been said that:

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” is so faithful to the original show that it practically transports audience members into the television special. The songs drive the plot while familiar and nostalgic set designs, costumes and characters are brought to stage. The cast brings new energy to the classic songs and dialogue, while puppets help showcase the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. “New Musical Stage Version of Rudolph,”, 9/22/2014.

Laughter and Tears

I’m sure you know how the story ends, and I doubt that any part of Rudolph’s tale will surprise you when you see it on stage at SKyPAC. But what may come as a surprise is the level of emotion—the laughter and the tears—that arise the first time you see the stage version. As for the children, you can be sure that they will be mesmerized and treasure the memory–perhaps to recount the experience to their own children when Rudolph turns 60 or 70.

My two sisters and I would watch Rudolph while sitting under the Christmas tree. I was mesmerized.”–Betty McGuire, SKyPAC Executive Assistant

As for my own personal memory, when I was a child, Rudolph–and other holiday TV shows like “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman”—were shown only once a year. On the much anticipated evening, our family gathered in front of the TV. My father built a fire in the living room fireplace and popped popcorn that we munched on during the show.

I even remember the commercial of Santa riding down a snowy slope on a Norelco razor.

rudolph photo: Rudolph SANTAsleigh.jpg

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will appear at SKyPAC at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, 2014, order online now! Grab a group of your favorite misfits! Groups of 15 or more save 20% call our SKyPAC Group Ticket Coordinator at 270-904-7010  to reserve your seats today!  




Show Time!

Before the theater lights dim. Before the hush of anticipation falls over the audience. Before the orchestra strikes the first notes of the overture. Before the curtain rises and the first actor appears on stage. 

Before all of that—a pre-performance air of ambience falls over SKyPAC’s immense lobby with its soaring three-story ceiling. The doors open and the first audience members drift in. As the lobby fills, a conversational hum rises, punctuated by the greetings of friends meeting up. 

It’s opening night of “Anything Goes.” The show has drawn an audience of all ages, from animated grade school children to their parents and grandparents–all here with the expectation of being thoroughly entertained. Waiting to serve them is a small army of volunteers (aka “Ambassadors”) and SKyPAC staff, with smiles all around and an eagerness to make everyone feel welcome.  

Half an hour before show time, I stand by the second floor railing, taking in the scene below, swept up by the excitement surrounding the opening night of this Tony award-winning, highly acclaimed Broadway revival.

* * *

Opening Night “Delight”

Originally produced in 1934, Cole Porter’s vibrant song and dance extravaganza was an enormous hit. One of the longest running musicals of the 1930s, it starred the legendary Ethel Merman and marked the peak of Cole Porter’s celebrated career as composer and lyricist.

Fortunately, we in Bowling Green don’t need to travel to New York City—or back in time—to attend a Broadway musical of such renown. As a prominent home for the arts, distinguished by a far-reaching reputation for excellence, SKyPAC is capable of booking shows the caliber of—and as “delightful” as– Anything Goes.

Enthusiastic Reviews

Everywhere it travels, from New York to San Francisco, Anything Goes elicits enthusiastic reviews.

  •  “Musical Comedy Joy!” says The New York Times.
  • “So delightful, so delicious, so de-lovely!” marvels the Associated Press.
  • “A TOP-NOTCH Cole Porter musical comedy!” enthuses the San Francisco Chronicle.

After 80 years, Porter’s songs—including “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and, of course, the show-stopping “Anything Goes”—still resonate with today’s audiences.

As for the musical performances, the singing is superb, the dancing is dazzling and the tapping is near mind-boggling. In particular, Emma Stratton, playing Reno Sweeney, and Brian Krinsky, playing Billy Crocker, claim the stage and wow the audience.

 * * *

 Fifteen minutes before the opening act, I make my way to my seat. In the pit, the orchestra tunes up, creating a cacophony of sounds. To the peal of a horn, the thump of a drum, the high-pitched reverberation of violins, the audience streams in. Green-jacketed ushers hand out programs and help people find their seats.

 The house lights dim. An expectant hush falls over the room. SKyPAC Executive Director Jan Zarr walks on stage to welcome the audience, noting, to general applause, that his son, Bradley, is among the cast. (Congratulations!)

 The overture commences, the curtain rises, the first actors take the stage.

 Finally. . . It’s show time!

 * * *

 Anything Goes is the first show in SKyPAC’s 2014-2015 Broadway musical series. Coming up are Sister Act, Flashdance-The Musical and Beauty and the Beast. Join in the excitement! Purchase your tickets now for the best seats.

It’s All Coming Together …

Photo taken by Jessica Snodgrass.

I noticed that the people returning their hard hats after taking a tour of SKyPAC always seemed to have a little extra sparkle in their eyes. Curious as to what I might be missing, I took another opportunity to find out and joined a few Orchestra Kentucky members on their tour of the building guided by Erin Biggers. Erin is SKyPAC’s Marketing & Development Associate, who does a great job telling the SKyPAC story which helps to bring the facility to life.

Photo taken by Mark Rountree.

We headed toward the back of the building and entered via a door into the main hall. As we each took a second to note our footing, we slowly stepped into a large, beautiful space. You can’t help grabbing hold of your hard hat as you instinctively look up towards the ceiling. An overwhelming feeling of reverence comes over you as the reflection from the tin ceiling tiles catch your eye, illuminating all of the enriching elements coming together to complete the space. Over the past two months the facade has slowly transformed; bricks are being laid, the front columns are starting to take shape and the siding is almost complete.

Photo by: Clinton Lewis Photography. Featuring Andee Rudloff and Clinton Lewis.

Each day, a transformation takes place on site as the vision of SKyPAC takes shape. This space will for sure open the eyes of many — it is one-of-a-kind in our community. If you have not yet taken a tour of the site, please DO! It is a unique experience that will definitely give you goose bumps just imagining the exciting things that are just around the corner.

Tours are available until December 9th for groups of 10 or more. Contact Erin Biggers at 270-393-0080 to schedule your tour today!

– Jessica Snodgrass

Veteran’s Day on 11.11.11

Did you know that today is the first time the Veterans Day holiday has fallen on the on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year?
Veterans Day is observed around the world and has many names – Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, and the Day of Peace. In 1918, Allies of World War One and Germany agreed to cease-fire by signing the official armistice at 5AM on November 11. Six hours later on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” the treaty took effect ending the “War to End All Wars”.

– Written by: Jessica Snodgrass 11.11.11

SKyPAC ticket sales strong

By JENNA MINK, The Daily News,
Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:26 AM CDT

When preparing for the first ticket sales at Bowling Green’s new performing arts center, Tom Tomlinson wasn’t expecting this.

Ticket packages for some of the first shows at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center went on sale Tuesday. By Friday, about 1,800 tickets had been sold, totaling $95,000. That’s double the amount that Tomlinson, the SKyPAC executive director, expected to sell.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “It bodes well for the future. It lets us know … we’re on the right track.”

Tickets for a total of 17 shows, which begin in March, are now for sale in packages. The shows have been grouped into series, and the packages range from $46 to $209, depending on seating location.

So far, the biggest seller is the Broadway package, and “Cats” and “Mamma Mia!” are the fastest-selling individual shows at about 350 tickets each, Tomlinson said.

“This is the first time these kinds of events have been available in Bowling Green,” he said, “and I think that’s evident by Broadway being the No. 1 seller.”

Once a person purchases a series of tickets, he or she can buy individual tickets for any of the 17 shows, said Dawn McGriff, SKyPAC development and marketing director.

About 13 percent of available tickets have been sold, and the public can purchase individual tickets beginning Feb. 1. There’s no limit to the number of ticket packages that can be sold, but officials might consider a cap if they begin to sell out before February, Tomlinson said.

Other theaters sometimes halt package sales when 80 percent of the tickets are sold, he said.

“If we get somewhere to that point, we will consider that because I do think it’s important that single tickets are available,” he said. “On the other hand, knowing in advance where you are is a good thing.”

The 1,800-seat facility on College Street opens March 10, and officials have not yet announced the opening-night act, which could be one of a slew of performers that range from Kenny Rogers to Kansas. SKyPAC officials expect to generate $4.6 million in revenue during its inaugural season, according to the organization.

Now, people are lining up at the box office, and workers are constantly answering phone calls for tickets. The rush is partly because of the holidays – several will purchase theater tickets for Christmas gifts. But people are also excited to take part in something that’s new to the Bowling Green area, Tomlinson said.

“People are excited about the ability to buy tickets and attend something here in town that they’d (normally) have to drive to Nashville or Louisville or somewhere else to attend,” he said.

In addition to entertaining locals, the new center hopefully will draw visitors to Bowling Green, said Vicki Fitch, executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’re very excited for SKyPAC to open because it adds another layer to our tourism infrastructure,” she said, “and it just adds something else that visitors could possibly do while they’re here in Bowling Green.”

Article can be found here: