Following two virtual Community Forums with Keen Independent Research, the Clark State Performing Arts Center (PAC) will begin implementing organizational changes to align with strategic planning initiatives and to better serve the community.
Built in 1993, the award-winning PAC is situated on 5.5 acres in downtown Springfield, Ohio. The 86,000 square foot facility houses administrative offices, classrooms, the ticket office and volunteer suite, two theatres (Kuss Auditorium and Turner Studio Theatre) and provides rental space that is designed and equipped to accommodate musical performances, theatre presentations, lectures, business meetings and other activities.
Crystal Jones, vice president of marketing, diversity and community impact at Clark State College said the college’s master planning process highlighted that the Performing Arts Center and Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center needed a strategic plan.
“In order to plan for the future, an operational and marketing assessment was ideally the next steps,” she said. “The community forums were essential to this process. Quantitative data is equally as important as qualitative data from our stakeholders.”
Consultant Alex Keen, Associate Principal with Keen Independent, conducted site visits, interviews with Clark State leadership, arts organizations, performing arts center staff and community stakeholders.
Jones said the first forum in August allowed leadership and the professionals from Keen Independent Research to listen and respond to stakeholders’ perspectives and questions. The second forum in September provided another opportunity for stakeholders that were not able to attend the initial forum to share their perspectives. The recordings of both forums can be viewed on the PAC website at https://pac.clarkstate.edu/about-us/pac-community-forum/.
Jones said the PAC is gradually shifting towards a venue management model.
“This plan is a four-year plan that begins in fiscal year 23/24,” she said. “This allows the college to prepare to implement the accepted recommendations.”
“We are excited to be in the final stage of this assessment,” said Jones. “The recommendations are encouraging, and we have already started by updating staff organization.”
Dan Hunt will take on the role as General Manager, Venue Operations of the PAC.
Hunt has been with the PAC since its opening in 1994. He was then hired as the first Assistant Technical Director the following year and became the Technical Director in 1998. He has been working behind the scenes ever since to ensure the PAC presents the best possible entertainment experience.
Todd Huffman has been promoted from Assistant Technical Director of the Performing Arts Center to Technical Director. He has been with Clark State for over six years. He is a native of Xenia, Ohio, and has worked all over the Miami Valley as a sound engineer. He also spent a year in his early career touring the world with the band Foreigner.
Petra Deason has worked for Clark State for 21 years. She will now take on the role of Manager, Ticket Office Operations at the PAC.
Deason spent her first year working for the Theatre Arts Program, then in August 2002 transferred to the ticket office in the capacity of Assistant Ticket Office Manager where she worked for over nine years. She worked for a short time in the School of Business and Applied Technologies and has spent the last ten years as Administrative Assistant to the Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences.
“I am excited to be working in the Performing Arts Center again as it feels like I have ‘come home,’” said Deason. “I can’t wait for the season to begin and feel the electricity in the air on the night of a show.”
Deason said she is looking forward to how the Performing Arts Center will celebrate its 30th season next year.
“After reflecting on the research from Alex Keen, I am very interested in discovering how to market the Center to younger patrons and ensure a vibrant future for the PAC,” she said.
The 2022-23 PAC season opens on Friday, October 7, at 8 p.m. with Fiddler on the Roof.
“There is something for everyone at the PAC,” said Hunt. “From musicals to magic, from hip hop to Winnie the Pooh, we have live entertainment to suit everyone’s taste.”
With a mix of theatre, live music, magic, and multi-media experiences, tickets to the 2022-2023 season are available online at https://pac.clarkstate.edu
The 2022-23 PAC Season includes: