May 22, 2024

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WOW Hall elects four board members, looks to expand programs

7 min read
Four newly-elected board members talked about their hopes for the WOW Hall and the Community Center for the Performing Arts.

Four newly-elected board members talked about their hopes for the WOW Hall and the Community Center for the Performing Arts.

The WOW Hall elected four board members: Allison Carter, Linda Dievendorf, David Hughes, and Mike Walker. Here’s Allison.

[00:00:08] Allison Carter: Thank you everyone for being here. We are the community of the Community Center for the Performing Arts. What an exciting time to be helping the WOW Hall move forward in this post-pandemic experience. I have a long history with the WOW Hall, starting off right out of high school, volunteering and eventually becoming a staff member. I was a program manager and I was a house manager. And then I moved on to continue to work professionally in the arts and venue management, arts administration, I work for some nonprofit arts groups right now. And I’m just, I’m here to give back. Things have come full circle and I’d just love to lend my expertise to the board. I love the WOW Hall intently. I have some pet projects. One of them would be really bumping up our volunteer program and get those internships going to fulfill our education mission. Also I’m excited about expanding our membership and the diversity there. There’s just so many things we can do at this time with this generous grant and with a lot of positive participation.

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[00:01:17] The volunteer program for one thing should be targeting youth specifically, because there aren’t a lot of opportunities for kids to get involved in production theater arts on a professional level, unless you actually get in there and do it. And the WOW Hall’s volunteer program is a really great opportunity for someone to get those skills and move on and I guess I’m talking more about young adults and high school age, because those are the folks that want, that are striving to learn more and get involved. And WOW Hall gives them an opportunity to do that.

[00:01:53] As far as kids’ programming, I am super excited about what we could do with that. As we all know, the WOW Hall is a blank slate. We do not have the infrastructure for theater and those kinds of things, but within our limited capacity as is, I’d love to see that expand. We know what we’re good at, and we’re good at producing shows. We’re also good as a dance class space.

[00:02:13] As far as educational programming, I am personally not an educator, but I am working with some organizations now where education outreach is one of their main missions. And I feel like we could work more closely with schools. In particular, I don’t have any programs off the top of my head, but we should do outreach with schools and see how they might come in and use our space a little bit more fully. I just think there’s a lot of opportunity. And I think with, we’re breaking out of the pandemic, we with a fresh board and with this wonderful funding, we have the luxury to have a big vision. And so I welcome that and I would support any proposals along those lines.

[00:02:53] Mike Walker: I’m Mike Walker. I’d be honored to serve the CCPA again. I did a lot of time in the ’80s and ’90s with the Hall on the board during some transition time. And unstaffed during some transition time. And I also played in a whole bunch of bands there that were pretty popular there. So saw it from all angles, including volunteering as well. I think the key aspect of my thinking as I went— similar to Allison, I want to give back to the Hall at a difficult time because everything that I’ve done with my career has been founded on what I did with the Hall. And I see echoes of that in terms of what I did as a touring musician in terms of promoting our business as a band for about five or six years. And then I did 25 years so far almost with McMenamins with the Crystal Ballroom. I’m in charge of all the marketing for the music venues and the company.

[00:03:42] And everything I’ve done in that program was built on something that came from the Hall, and without the launch of the CCPA experiences, I wouldn’t have brought those tools to my career.

[00:03:52] What I’m hearing is a shared vision of almost everybody talking about music and the expansion of the programming as being things that can coexist. I strongly support an expansion of the offerings. I think it’s true to the mission, both explicit and implicit for the Hall. And I think that it will actually be something to celebrate going into a broadening of our offerings to a more diverse community. I think everyone probably in, in this assembly here has a long enough history where we’ve seen children grow up in the Hall and probably go into shows as an aspect of that. But to actually have the Hall be more of a hub of community centers, whether it’s, you know, classes, music, instrumental classes, acting classes of any sort would be great and really on a practical level, I think expanding variety on an age basis or on any basis improves the size of the membership. It makes financial sense for the Hall in terms of earnings through the gate grants, grant eligibility, all this stuff is important. And I think the kids is a fantastic place to start.

[00:05:02] David Hughes: Hi, how are you? David Hughes here. I am a product of the WOW Hall. I worked there for five years, 1995 to 2001. At the time we had an incredibly diverse programming. We had Kids Jam to serve the kids. We had salsa bands. We had Tibetan monks, flamenco music, tons of African dance classes. We had DanceAbility with Alito Alessi that we would strike the stage for every day so they could have a full day of classes in the hall. I fully support all diverse programming. I fully agree that we need to have very diverse programming and staffing at that, that venue. But currently I work for Berklee College of Music. I help promote and produce 3,000 events a year. I have about 75 students per semester that operate seven different venues. We train them from the ground up just as I was at the WOW Hall, from XLR cables to mixing bands, to booking shows, to handling budgets.

[00:05:55] Berklee College of Music has about a 50 percent international student body as well as a really solid push for equity and diversity within our student body. So we have to pay attention to all of that every single day with the people that we hire, with how we treat the students, with how we speak to the students. So that’s where my strengths are, I think, is working with a diverse population and in the policies that you need.

[00:06:18] I’ve tour managed for 25 years. I’ve managed venues for Live Nation. I feel like I can bring a lot to the table with the CCPA. I can offer a lot of support for the technical staff. I can help them figure out if they need to make purchases, what priorities are. I just really believe in the membership of the WOW Hall and I believe that it’s an important thing for the community.

[00:06:39] Some people want more classes, some want more concerts, but I really think at the end of the day, what we need to do is make sure that the Hall can continue for another 40 years.

[00:06:46] And so I want to be part of making sure that the CCPA continues and continues with their mission.

[00:06:52] There needs to be a professional in place to be a production manager that can actually run it now. Yes, we can rely on students or trainees or interns for some of the positions in the Hall, but I fully believe that one of the main positions that will need to be staffed at the venue will be a production manager who is experienced.

[00:07:12] Linda Dievendorf: Hi there. I’ve been a part of the music and arts or entertainment and the arts for almost 40 years. Some of that was with the UO Cultural Forum at the University, and a lot of our students got a lot of training and experience in, in promotion and actually producing shows. It’s a great venue. My kids danced there when they were (laughs) my 40-year-old children danced there when they were young ones. I would, I don’t see a disconnect between events that raise funds and community outreach and community programs. I think they exist together and I think the live music that brings in money can support some of the shows that do not, that, that do not necessarily raise a lot of revenue. One thing that comes to mind is doing the Willamette Valley Folk Festival and how we had student fees and the Willamette Valley Folk Festival was $7,000. And we raised probably another $35,000 or $45,000 from other events that we did to support the Festival at the level that it needed to be supported. So I do have those skills. Yeah. I like to think creatively too. I like to think about, ‘How can we do that?’

[00:08:30] I’d like to see education educational opportunities at the WOW Hall also, residencies in music, art and continue the great programming that has been done over the years. I think we have an exciting time at the WOW Hall and I’d love to be a part of it.

[00:08:48] John Q: Welcome to our newly-elected CCPA board members.

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Please let us know of needed corrections. See the complete meeting here (link valid Nov. 28, 2021).

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