Central Kentucky Arts Series set for start of new season

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First show is Sept. 28

By Calen McKinney


The goal is to expose residents to something they don't see every day. And the group believes, with what they have planned for this season, they will do that.

Central Kentucky Arts Series members have been working this summer to plan their upcoming season. Dr. Tony Cunha, president, says this year's events are a mix that everyone can enjoy.

"Our goal is to provide programs as diverse as possible that all bring the arts to our community," he said.

And that's been the mission since the group's inception in the 1960s.

Cunha said communities that embrace the arts seem to thrive in today's society.

"They somehow are better communities," he said.

Taylor County is included in that category, Cunha said.

Without the CKAS, he said, those who want to see professional musicians, actors and performers might have to travel to Lexington, Louisville or Bowling Green.

But with the CKAS, Cunha said, Taylor County residents have a chance to see those professionals at a minimal cost.

In addition to Cunha, CKAS board members include Dr. Russ Barclay and his wife, Gladys, Dr. Keith Spears, Dr. Wesley Roberts, David Gaddie, Roberta Mensick and Floyd Farmer.

Cunha, who is also dean of the School of Music at Campbellsville University, has been involved with the CKAS since 2008.

Carole Krieter, a former long-time board member, died in May. Cunha said Krieter donated her time and left money to the CKAS. She will be honored at the first event of this year's season.

"She was such a good supporter," he said.

CKAS conducts an annual membership drive to let the public know about the upcoming season and ask for support. Letters will be mailed this week, Cunha said. Anyone who was a member last year, he said, will receive a letter soon.

The price of memberships hasn't been finalized yet, Cunha said. Nevertheless, he said, they are very affordable.

Family memberships allow for a person's entire immediate family to attend all the year's events. If a person attended performances in larger cities, Cunha said, they would very likely pay more for one performance than an entire CKAS season.

And Cunha said that's what makes the CKAS special and a great benefit to the Taylor County community. Cunha said board members are especially thankful for the support they receive.

"It's because of that support that we are able to do what we do," he said.

CKAS board members begin planning for the CKAS season in March. Cunha said they get together and brainstorm ideas for what types of performances might be good for the next season. Board members meet again the following month to narrow down the choices and see which performers might be available. Then, they take the following months to negotiate with agents and artists to book performance dates.

Cunha said fees for some performers are a bit beyond the CKAS budget, which comes from donations, sponsorships, membership fees and ticket sales.

"Our budget is small, so we have to be careful how we use it," Cunha said.

There will be four programs in the 2014-2015 season, he said.

The first will be Sept. 28 and feature the Louisville Civic Orchestra. Pianist Stephen Beus will perform on Nov. 3.

John Chappell will act the works of Mark Twain in March and, on April 10, the Ming Ke Trio will perform Chinese music.

For complete event details, see the sidebar to this story.

Tickets to the performances will be available at each event. But Cunha says buying a membership is much more cost effective.

"In the end, it will be cheaper buying the season tickets."

The reasons for attending CKAS events are simple, Cunha said.

All events are family-friendly, he said.

"So I think this is a great opportunity for families to go out on a date, if you will, and do something that is different."

The CKAS also exposes people to performances that they might not otherwise see, Cunha said.

"Give yourself an opportunity to see and listen to things that you're not used to," he said. "We don't have these artists on the radio here locally."

And, Cunha said, attending a CKAS event supports the arts in the community. People support school teams and clubs, he said, and they should also support the arts.

The CKAS is nonprofit, Cunha said, so every penny made goes back into offering events for the community. And its been doing so for about 50 years.

"That says or should mean something to this community as a whole."

To become a CKAS member, or for more information, call Cunha at (270) 789-5340 or email him at aocunha@campbellsville.edu.