Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts | WGLT

Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

Images from performers who'll appear at the BCPA during the 2017-2018 season.
Image courtsey of the city of Bloomington

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts’ new season was booked under a mandate from City Manager David Hales to generate more money as the center faces a half-million dollar deficit.

Flowers outline left side of the exterior front of the Bloomington Center for the Perfoming Arts Building
Photo courtesy of Facebook

The man who has spent the past month learning about past management of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts says the 1,200 seat theater and basement-level meeting space sits empty far too often.

"I get no pleasure out of an auditorium of 1,200 sitting there empty and knowing that 1,200 could have something in it and that 'something' could be producing revenue for the city," said Carl St. Clair, a former VenuWorks executive who was lured out of retirement with a four-month, $30,000 contract to serve as interim director of the BCPA.

City of Bloomington / Smith Group, JJR

Parking lots in the northeast part of Downtown Bloomington purchased by the city may not remain as parking lots for long. 

"The Frontier lots are critical and they're critical to economic development and frankly, from the stand point of the city, control over the property," said Mayor Tari Renner during Sound Ideas. "We're finding, obviously with the Front 'n' Center building, if you don't have control of the property there are limitations in how you can operate." 

Vladimir Kulenovic

One of America's greatest classical music composers is George Gershwin.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra plays an entire Gershwin concert Friday at  the BCPA in Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

The new contract manager for the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts will start his job next week with a looming deadline of less than two months to get the fall season’s acts signed plus a nearly half-million dollar projected budget deficit.

City of Bloomington

VenuWorks will take over management of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, at least on a temporary basis.

A retired vice president for VenuWorks has been named Interim Director of the BCPA.

Facebook

Bloomington-Normal continues to absorb the sad news of the sudden passing of Tina Salamone, director of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Facebook

Bloomington has lost one of its most ardent advocates for the arts.

Tina Salamone, director of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, died of a sudden heart attack on Sunday afternoon and was pronounced dead at Bro-Menn Hospital, McLean County coroner Kathleen Davis confirmed.

Christian Mesiano / Flickr

A backer of Classical music Composer Jean Sibelius wrote him before he composed the second Symphony that it was time or him to go to Italy, "a country where one learns cantabile, balance and harmony, plasticity and symmetry of lines, a country where everything is beautiful, even the ugly. You remember what Italy meant for Tchaikovsky’s development and for Richard Strauss."

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Symphony Orchestras around the nation are struggling to build new audiences as their core subscribers age.

One of the finalists for the job of Illinois Symphony Orchestra Music Director has some thoughts on that problem.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra rolls out its Holiday pops offering this Sunday at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Fifteen different holiday and Americana works are on the program at three p.m.

flickr

Elected leaders in Bloomington Normal are calling for cool heads and reasoned conversation about public affairs.

Bloomington Alderman Scott Black said that's the point of a rally over the noon hour Tuesday at which local elected officials will emphasize how they cooperate with each other across ideological lines.

Downtown TIF Up For A Vote

Oct 23, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

A Tax Increment Financing District in downtown Bloomington could receive approval from the city council Monday.

No City Funding For Creativity Center

Oct 18, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

A proposal to phase-in upgrades to the Creativity Center is receiving support from the Bloomington City Council. However, Aldermen want to use privately-raised money to pay for the project.

Alderman Amelia Buragas said she supports a resolution that says the council supports the Activity Center and will engage in a public-private partnership, but it doesn't commit city funds to it.

Creativity Center Could See $5.2 Million Update

Oct 16, 2016
City of Bloomington

Bloomington Alderman will discuss a plan to use mostly private funds to renovate the Creativity Center, north of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, during a committee meeting Monday.

artsblooming.org

On September 16th, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts marks a major milestone: the 10th anniversary of its first performance as the city's main venue for presenting national and international artists and shows.

In a far-ranging interview on GLT's Sound Ideas, executive director Tina Salamone looked forward to the season ahead and said the arts center enters its second decade in strong financial shape.

It's time once again for high school outdoor summer musicals.

This year's season at the Normal Parks and Recreation Department's Connie Link Amphitheatre is particularly family friendly. On the way next month is the stage version of "The Little Mermaid" and playing tonight through Sunday is a summer stock favorite based on Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" characters, "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Staff / WGLT

The 10th season of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts features a mix of Broadway, vintage pop, and comedy.  

"Unelectable You" cashes in on election year fever with a comedy review that skews and skewers both left and right.  Comedian Louie Anderson, who stars in the FX series "Baskets", brings his stand-up show to the BCPA.  Broadway is represented with "Annie," "Elf" and "Bye-Bye Birdie."  

Michael Schwartz

Veteran comedian Paula Poundstone loves her job as a panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

She also loves to hear the audience laugh in response to a joke.  But when the comedian first started on "Wait, Wait" there was no audience at all.

Hal Holbrook

Actor Hal Holbrook is 91. He has been playing Mark Twain on stage since 1948 and takes his famed rendition of the great American author and humorist to Bloomington's BCPA Tuesday night.

Sharon ShareAlike

The Illinois State University Charity Drag Show comes of age this year.  The 18th annual show is sponsored by ISU PRIDE and benefits Project Oz.  The organizer and emcee of the show is local drag legend, Sharon ShareAlike, who will share (appropriately) the stage with a variety of drag queens, plus one king, and a member of drag royalty, who was a popular contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Sound of Illinois

The Sound of Illinois Chorus is hosting a concert this weekend at the BCPA.  For 74 years, the barbershop chorus has maintained strong harmony.  On the eve of their diamond anniversary, members of the group say the current popularity of a cappella  singing is helping to bring barbershop back into the musical mainstream.

Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is staging a production of the award-winning Broadway musical, "Ragtime" on Thursday evening. Based on the popular novel by E.L. Doctorow, "Ragtime" blends fictional characters with historic figures and actual events.

Tina Salamone, executive director of the BCPA, says "Ragtime" deals with subject matter that could have been ripped from today's headlines and presidential debates.

Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has narrowed the field for its new Music Director search to four. Executive Director Trevor Orthman says those people will conduct the Symphony in Bloomington and Springfield in the coming fall and winter. Orthman says it was a strong field with accomplished musicians from four continents and a variety of established musical groups.

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington's Mayor is vowing to veto any effort to close the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA). When asked about closing it, Tari Renner told Mike McCurdy during GLT's Sound Ideas "that's not happening."  Renner also said he would veto closing the BCPA's Creative Center.

Chauncey Davis / Creative Commons

An Illinois Wesleyan University Economist says estimates of the one to two million dollar a year economic benefit from the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts are probably fairly accurate. IWU Scholar Diego Mendez Carbajo says reality is probably somewhere in the middle. The one million dollar estimate comes from the Convention and Visitors Bureau and uses commercial modeling software. It does not include some potential effects of patron spending. The other estimate is from the group Americans for the Arts.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Christmas garlands and lights have already begun to creep into homes, onto bushes outside houses, and yes, into stores. Tomorrow evening the music starts with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops in the Heartland concert at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. Included in that concert is the Twin Cities Ballet Company and the Illinois State University Choirs. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with Karyl Carlson, the Director of ISU's Choirs about the the place of a pops concert in today's culture....what it affirms and what it helps people do.

Mandee Johnson / Flickr via Creative Commons

Comedian Tig Notaro has a new HBO comedy special "Boyish Girl Interrupted" and the documentary "Tig" is streaming on Netflix. WGLT's Mike McCurdy spoke with the comedian before her appearance at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts in January of 2014.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

The new season of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra kicks off this weekend with a focus on Russians. And it will be the last one with Music Director Alastair Willis. Audiences and board members have said they are happy with the work. Willis, though, asked to be let out of the final year of his five year contract. Although no one expected the ISO to be Willis's last stop GLT's Charlie Schlenker asked him why he wanted to move on.

Walt Willey web site

Western legend Wild Bill Hickock was born in Troy Grove, Illinois about an hour and twenty minutes north of Bloomington-Normal. Actor Walt Willey grew up in nearby Ottawa, Illinois before making his career on the soap opera All My Children. Willey learned of the central Illinois connection to Hickok only later in life, and was entranced by James Butler Hickok when he was looking for a one man show to do.