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Arts series set to begin Oct. 11

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By Calen McKinney

Central Kentucky Arts Series board members are on a mission.

They want to sell memberships for this year's arts season and find new volunteers to help the board plan upcoming seasons.

This year's art series features three events, featuring singers and a large orchestra performance.

Tony Cunha, associate professor of music and dean of the School of Music at Campbellsville University, is in his fourth year as president of CKAS.

Cunha said this year's season, which begins Oct. 11, has fewer performances, but should be very entertaining for those who enjoy a good concert.

And even though the season doesn't begin for a few weeks, CKAS board members just began their effort to recruit new members.

Past members should have recently received a letter in the mail about this year's season, complete with details to renew their membership. The letter is the kick off to the CKAS membership drive.

A CKAS membership, at a cost of $20 for individuals and $50 for a family, Cunha said, includes admission to each of this year's events. Tickets will be available for individual purchase at each of the events. The price will vary based on the performance, though Cunha said it is much more affordable to buy a membership.

Individual membership costs this year were reduced this year from $25 because there are only three events.

Cunha said the reason for that is because the CKAS is considering a transition in its organization, which would see the series completely restructured.

The CKAS is a nonprofit organization, Cunha said, which operates on donations, memberships and ticket sales.

"And our goal is to bring the arts to the community," he said. "It's a program for the entire community."

But with a small budget, Cunha said, it can be difficult to attract quality performers whose fees are a bit out of reach. He said he receives requests often from agents across the United States - and from other countries - who want to bring their acts to Campbellsville. The fees, however, are what determine if that can happen, Cunha said, and that's why memberships and donations are so important.

"That's a big challenge nowadays for any nonprofit organization," he said. "We try to bring a very diverse type of program for the entire community."

Even though resources might be limited, Cunha said, CKAS board members want to offer events the community will enjoy and can afford to attend.

"We have to be very creative as we do that," he said.

This year's season will feature jazz, classical, pop, Dutch, a capella music and much more.

The first performance will be Friday, Oct. 11. The Chattering Magpies will perform at CU's Gheens Recital Hall at 7 p.m.

The Irish duo will play traditional Celtic songs and dances. Cunha said the duo will bring a "light" and "fun" performance to the community.

The series continues Sunday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at Campbellsville Baptist Church. CU choirs and chamber orchestra will perform Handel's "Messiah."

"This is probably the largest event we will have this season," he said.

And that's part of the reason Cunha said the board wants to have the performance at Campbellsville Baptist Church. Another is because the event is religious in nature, so it seemed fitting to have it at a church.

"They were very welcoming to this," he said.

CBC officials have agreed to host the performance in place of their Sunday night worship service. About 100 people will perform during the concert.

This year's CKAS season will end Tuesday, Feb. 4, with a performance by Quink vocal ensemble at First United Methodist Church at 8 p.m.

The group has been performing since 1978 and sings a capella music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Cunha said Quink is a truly professional ensemble. They performed as part of the series several years ago.

"This is one of those top-notch groups," he said.

Cunha said he believes this year's season offers something different than seasons past, as well as events that are family-friendly.

At $25 for an individual and $50 for a family membership, Cunha said, he believes tickets are affordable. If an individual or family traveled to Louisville or Lexington for a show, the cost would be much higher, he said.

"They will pay more than that for just one program."

Cunha said he knows people today are very selective as to what they will spend money on. This year's art series, he said, is worth the expense.

"They were careful with their money," he said. "They're even more now."

In addition to selling memberships, Cunha said, the CKAS board is looking for some members to breathe new life into the series.

Current CKAS board members are Cunha, Carol Krieter, David Gaddie, Dr. Keith Spears, Floyd Farmer, Dr. Wesley Roberts and Dr. Russ Barclay.

Cunha said the board meets once every month or so to discuss ideas about possible performances and about a week before each performance. Serving on the board won't require much effort or time, he said. Members help sell tickets, pass out programs and greet those attending the performances.

"We really want to see if we can reach out and get new members," he said. "This is gonna be a year for us to study and discuss. And we will revive the arts series.

Cunha said he and the other board members are very appreciative of the support the community has shown for the series.

"But we have lost several members," he said.

Several members have moved out of town, Cunha said, and some have died in the past year. As such, he said, new members are needed to keep the CKAS going.

And Cunha says he believes it's important to keep the arts coming to Taylor County. He said the series also allows people to hear and see something they might not have been exposed to otherwise.

"In general, the arts, they are essential to any culture in a community. I think our community benefits from always having an arts series. We would like to have that continue.

"What we would like for the community to do is give it a try and see what we have to offer."

To purchase a membership, or to become a board member, call Cunha at 789-5340 or email him at aocunha@campbellsville.edu.

Central Kentucky Arts Series

2013-2014 Season Lineup

• Friday, Oct. 11 - The Chattering Magpies, Campbellsville University's Gheens Recital Hall, 7 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 17 - Campbellsville University choirs and chamber orchestra performing Handel's "Messiah," Campbellsville Baptist Church, 6 p.m.

• Tuesday, Feb. 4 - Quink vocal ensemble, First United Methodist Church, 8 p.m.