They should be receiving your applause
Ryan Summerlin November 14, 2012
I wanted to thank Julie Hooker and her students, Michaela Berglund and Laney Marsella, for their kind words in last Wednesday’s paper.
I just needed to clarify who gave them the tickets, brought the (Ailey II) performance to town and worked equally as hard to make the evening happen.
Park City Performing Arts Foundation (PCPAF) operates with a committed volunteer board that guides all the policies of the organization, including the subsidizing of tickets (for all 15 years we have been operating), to underserved members of the community. As the director, I have the joy of offering those tickets to different groups, during different times of the year, but the board authorizes that decision and supports it. This year we have a grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Family Foundation to help us, in part, fund those tickets.
When the students said I made the event "run like butter," nothing could have been farther from the truth., but I’m glad it appeared that way. Jim makes the lights spectacular, ditto Curt with the sound. Jenny keeps the performers fed and transported and happy with their special requests. Kate makes certain we all get paid. Jaimie and Billy and Danny sell the tickets and find lost tickets and re-seat the group that went from four up to 12 and then down to six. And they all do a bunch of really unglamorous stuff no one thinks about needing done. They don’t ever want to be on stage. I know this because, from time to time, I try to force them out there and they make me promise to never do that again. But they should be out there receiving your applause.
Our donors, year round, write checks to support all of efforts, from the programming at the Eccles Center and Deer Valley to the healthy snacks for our after-school free literacy tutoring center, the Mega Genius Supply Store and IQ HQ (where all those same staff members double as tutors). Our donors are folks who live in Park City, for the most part, and are faced with a myriad of choices where to contribute. We are honored to be one of their choices.
Our volunteer base, more than 100 strong now — those folks who give you the programs, find your seat and read to kids at Mega Genius, even help them with math — those are the real heroes of our organization.
So the next time you see me squinting in the spotlight (that thing always blinds me), look a little deeper onto the darkened stage. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of folks in the wings.
I do love my job. I love working with performers and, even more, with students. I love seeing so many happy faces at the end of the evening. And I love how the arts never fail to open us up, a bit at time, to see with new eyes.
Thank you all for being there on the Opening Night of our 15th year. The highlight of my evening was to witness your delight in seeing the spectacular show.
Teri Orr is the director of the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, which provides programming for the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.