by John Killacky
There is much to be grateful for here at the Flynn. Last year at this time, I let you know of a $500,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation for capital improvements. Last summer we enclosed the loading dock, and then in the fall asked for your help in replacing our theater seats and enhancing the lobby and exterior façade. With our community’s extraordinary largess, the Flynn raised $2,247,694. Amazingly, 354 seats were commemorated. Later this month, we begin these patron enhancements and will reopen with restored splendor after Labor Day.
Artistically, it has been a strong season; not without its controversies, but this is an important part of what the Flynn does. From Broadway spectaculars to the most obscure avant-garde artists, the Flynn has always presented a broad array of aesthetics. A highlight for me was our 30th Birthday Bash, which featured many of the local artists that call the Flynn their home.
Access is central to our mission, and this past season we offered tickets for as low as $15 and continued partnerships with 47 social, human service, and educational organizations to offer 3,731 deeply discounted tickets to those with limited means. In addition, 40,880 students from all around Vermont attended our student matinee programs.
While the MainStage goes dark for renovations over the summer, the education program is bursting with 34 summer camps and two summer musicals: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, July 5 & 6, and Zombie Prom, July 19 & 20. This is my favorite time of year, as the Flynn is overrun with budding artists of all ages.
Next month, look for the 2012-13 subscription brochure. Members receive priority in subscription purchases, as well as single tickets. Tantalizing offerings include Joffrey Ballet, John Lithgow, Chick Corea with Gary Burton, Lila Downs, Ricky Skaggs, Capitol Steps, Shaolin Warriors, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Natalie MacMaster, Wynton Marsalis, and much more. Broadway fans: look for Dreamgirls, Hair, and West Side Story.
Save the date of July 10 for our annual sneak preview and meet Steve MacQueen, our new artistic director. As you know, Steve replaces Arnie Malina, who has been envisioning artistic programs at the Flynn for the past 15 years. If you would like to say goodbye to Arnie, join us in the lobby following Dianne Reeves’ performance at our Burlington Discover Jazz Festival on Saturday, June 9. Two other shows not to miss: Mary Halvorson Quintet on Thursday, June 7 and Christian McBride and Inside Straight on Friday, June 8. Hope to see you there!
For garden enthusiasts, join us for our 16th Annual Flynn Garden Tour on Sunday, July 15 featuring six amazing gardens in Charlotte and an afternoon tea at Wake Robin. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 5.
Please continue to give me your feedback. I love talking with members and our public in the lobby, on the phone (802 652-4504), or by email at jkillacky[at]flynncenter.org. I appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to working with you to steward the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in the years ahead.