Trot­ter Takes Helm To ‘Reimag­ine’ Fu­ture At ACO

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - WHAT'S UP - — LARA HIGHTOWER LHIGHTOWER@NWADG.COM

Reimag­ine’ is the word we’re us­ing,” says Kath­leen Trot­ter, who took over the reins of the Arts Cen­ter of the Ozarks from in­terim di­rec­tor Jenni

Tay­lor Swain on July

1. “We’re try­ing to reimag­ine the fu­ture of the or­ga­ni­za­tion so that it’s con­sis­tent with the en­vi­ron­ment we live in, the gaps in the arts ecol­ogy in North­west Ar­kan­sas and with our own his­tory.”

Trot­ter, who pre­vi­ously served as a con­sul­tant and ex­ec­u­tive in or­ga­ni­za­tions that in­cluded con­fer­ence and re­treat cen­ters and res­i­dence camps, says she worked with the ACO Board and or­ga­ni­za­tion through­out the past year prior to for­mally tak­ing on the ti­tle of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

“While Jenni was the in­terim di­rec­tor, I was work­ing with her and have been in on the vi­sion­ing and help­ing to set the new mis­sion and the or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­ture,” she says. “Our goals are to cer­tainly build on to the won­der­ful 50-year his­tory we have un­der [Kathi and Harry] Blun­dells’ lead­er­ship, as well as to rec­og­nize that Spring­dale is a dif­fer­ent city and wants to [fos­ter] a re­vi­tal­ized down­town. We see the arts cen­ter as be­ing in­te­gral to cre­at­ing ac­tiv­ity that com­ple­ments the growth of the busi­ness district.”

Trot­ter says the ACO has an ex­cit­ing sea­son planned for 2017-18 that will be an­nounced in full in Au­gust. High­lights in­clude main­stage shows such as “Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity” (Oct. 13-15, 20-22) and “Driv­ing Miss Daisy” (March 9-11, 16-18), and col­lab­o­ra­tions with NWA Au­dio The­atre, Trike The­atre, Arts Live The­atre, the Latin The­atre Project and Prov­i­dence Academy.

“We’re build­ing on our com­mu­nity fo­cus,” says Trot­ter. “Our in­tent is to pro­vide unique arts and artists for our au­di­ences so that they’re en­ter­tained. We ed­u­cate through the arts and en­gage peo­ple to build a co­he­sive and uni­fied com­mu­nity.

“We are on our way to di­ver­si­fy­ing our pro­gram — that’s what ex­cites me. To take a new idea and give it flesh and bone and have other peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence that in new and ex­cit­ing ways.”


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