Change is in the Air at PAC
By Cindy Trevathan
The Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center is in the process of implementing a new expanded facility for the performing arts community.
Our new facility will bring the performing arts in Highlands to a higher level by providing a larger theater for the big shows, a small black box theater for movies and more intimate events plus renovations to the existing hall and expansion of the lobby to improve access, visibility and comfort.
The new facility will be home to the Highlands Community Players, Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, Bel Canto and the PAC Youth Theater along with live streaming of the New York Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre of London. In 2020, it will also be home for the Highlands Playhouse.
The mission of the PAC is to provide a high-quality venue for the performing arts at a low cost. As a result, the PAC coordinates concerts and fund-raising drives to help offset the operating costs of the facility and keep rents low for the non-profit resident art groups. The expanded facility will provide greater opportunities for community events including conferences, wedding receptions and meetings.
The PAC also provides a venue for a youth theater program. This program provides a full curriculum in stage work, technical, front-of-house and stage managing to area junior high and high school students. This opportunity builds confidence and poise in these young students, with many going on to study theater after graduation from high school. These efforts will continue and expand with the new facilities.
The PAC strongly encourages maintaining the traditions and customs of the local area, hosting local bluegrass bands and storytellers. Plans are under way to use the expanded facility for an annual Appalachian Festival to further celebrate the culture of our area as demonstrated in music, dance and movies.