Listening room at Kimball Art Center is venue for audio arts | ParkRecord.com

Listening room at Kimball Art Center is venue for audio arts

Park City-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Bill McGinnis would love the town to build a listening room, a small and intimate venue where audiences could enjoy local music without the clanking of coffee mugs, tapas plates and book discussions.

"I've been saying Park City needs a place like this for the longest time," McGinnis said.

So when Park City officials announced they were interested in creating an arts and culture district in Bonanza Park, McGinnis said to himself, "And that's where we're going to have our listening room."

To give the public a taste of what a local listening room will offer, McGinnis is partnering with the Kimball Art Center for one such experience on from 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

“I’ve been saying Park City needs a place like this for the longest time...” Bill McGinnis,singer and songwriter

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"As a kick off for the whole idea, we will do this in the Kimball Art Center's main gallery," McGinnis said. "We are looking at the vision at what the KAC does for visual arts and expand the vision into the audio arts — music, spoken word."

The evening will feature six musicians — singers and songwriters Kristin Lloyd, Teresa Eggertsen Cooke, Shane Jackman and Molly McGinnis, acoustic reggae singer Omar Gerardo, and a jazz combo presented by Park City High School Director of Bands Chris Taylor.

Lloyd is known for her work as the character "Crazy Ani" on the Heber Valley Railroad's Wild West Days program, while Eggertsen Cooke is a jazz/cabaret singer.

Molly McGinnis is Bill McGinnis' daughter.

"Not only is she a great singer and songwriter, she is also a visual artist," Bill McGinnis said. "We're also going to bring Shane out of semi-retirement, and present a newer singer in Omar."

The six acts are divided into two performances.

"Since this is a listening room, the sets aren't going to be background music," McGinnis said. "The audience will be asked to listen like it's a concert."

Park City High School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School students will present poetry and prose after each singer.

"We want to show people what is possible in a local listening room," McGinnis said.

Admission is $20.

"We have a charge for admission because this event will help us start gathering seed money for a full-on listening room project," McGinnis said.

The room's capacity is 100 people.

"It will be cabaret-style seating, and we'll set up 10 tables of 10, so people will have the opportunity to sit with others they don't so they can get to know them prior to the performance and during the intermission," McGinnis said. "I'm beyond excited to do this."

The evening is sponsored by Klos Guitars, a Provo-based company that manufactures portable, carbon-fiber acoustic instruments, founded by Adam and Ian Klosowiak.

"I met Adam at Music-Con and he was all over the idea," said McGinnis.

Kimball Art Center Communications Director Amy Roberts said the Kimball administration didn't hesitate to schedule the listening-room event when McGinnis approached them about the listening room performances.

"We believe artists should support artists, no matter the format," she said. "We would like to see the arts and culture district become like a community living room and we see music playing a big part in that."

Education Director Heather Stamenov agreed and said music performances aren't new to the Kimball Art Center.

"We had a huge exhibition ("Way of the Rain" by Sibylle Szaggars Redford) in 2016 that featured live music and dancing," Stamenov said. "It was great connecting different forms of art to create and experience, and it will continue to be something we want to do. So we're looking for those bridges."

McGinnis' long-term goal is to find a permanent venue for a listening room.

"The reason is our songwriting community, as it expands, would like a real home," he said. "We have been holding songwriting sessions in various places around town — the Park City Library, local businesses, private homes. But we would like to have a place somewhere on this five-and-a-half-acre area that will establish us (within) the locale."

A listening room performance will start at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.kimballartcenter.org. For information, call 435-649-8882.