Monday, August 14, 2006

TBPAC: Ontario, Take 2

As a person whose main focus at work is e-mail and web marketing, I tend to speak to people quite a bit electronically and on the phone, but meet very few of these folks in person. One of the most rewarding aspects of attending a conference for work is I get the opportinity to finally put faces with voices (or e-mail signatures).

While in Toronto I finally got to meet a colleague from The Living Arts Centre of Mississauga, Ontario,
someone I have communicated with for a couple of years via e-mail and telephone, but had never met. I was curious to see how alike (or dislike) TBPAC and The Living Arts Centre are, so she drove me out to her Centre, a 225,000 square foot multi-use facility that hosts performing arts events as well as an arts educational program.

One of the main differences is The Living Arts Centre’s education program seems to place an emphasis on studio arts as well as performing arts. I visited the Centre in the evening and unfortunately my colleague was unable to give me a full tour, but while there I did witness one of their resident artists working in the glass workshop (and it looked like very hot, sweaty work) and I also saw other students working in clay in the ceramics studio.

The juxtaposition of performance space and studio arts struck me, especially after experiencing the art of the Chinese lanterns. It reinforced for me that art is many things, but mostly it is a living, breathing extension of the artist himself (or herself). That so many artists share this part of themselves and put it out there for everyone to see, to criticize or to laud. And it reminded me how lucky we are in Tampa Bay, lucky enough to have splendid and differing venues in our own back yard.

- Leeann D.

1 comment:

Dominick F., Senior Bean Counter said...

I agree that meeting with peers from other PACs, and seeing their facilities, is invaluable. A few weeks ago I was up in Pittsburgh with MB for a PACC CFO benchmarking meeting.

Highlighting this was speaking with others in our industry, as well as touring Pittsburgh's main PAC (The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust). It was fascinating to see how others handle similar challenges and opportunities; it helps us to strategically plan out TBPAC's future. They're really experienced in real estate acquisition & development (including a parking deck and an apartment tower, in addition to their venues). I wonder if we'll ever get into studio arts as well, especially if we ever expand property-wise.

Another highlight was checking out Nakama, the best sushi bar in Pittsburgh, but that's another story....