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Park City Institute Stage Goes Dark For Summer Concert Series

Park City performing Arts Institute

The Park City Performing Arts Institute announced the cancellation of the summer concert series. They’ve been working on the line up since January and will offer some other opportunities for the public to enjoy unique performances through other venues.

The decision came to shut down the summer series based on collaboration with the Park City School District. The Eccles Performing Arts Center is a shared venue with the school district, and with the schools remaining closed through the end of the school year, so would the auditorium. Park City Performing Arts Executive Director Ari Ioanides says usually there is a cancellation fee with performer contracts.

“You have to start planning these things out six months in advance. I’ve kind of changed the way the contracts are written so that regardless of who we signed, we let them no 30 days before the show, whether-or-not we were going to hold the show,  because of the impacts of the virus and the health orders from the county and state, [we could] not be responsible.” Ionnides explains “usually they would make a big down payment for the act and you book everything in advance and then there's a cancellation fee. So, all the contracts we have with everyone who had scheduled to come this summer had those clauses in them and so we're happy about that.”

Ioanides says, even before COVID-19, they started to make plans to enhance the way the organization communicates with patrons and the community.  Thanks to the PPP assistance, they’ve brought the technical crew back to work full time. They are planning to create podcasts and a video series which would be produced in house. They planned to begin producing in a space in the Eccles but with the school district concerns and the regulations from the county, it will have to happen elsewhere this summer.

“We are currently looking for a couple of things. First of all, we had planned to start this week but the video series. That won't happen until next week 'cause we’ve got to scramble to find a new location. That Black Box is uniquely situated with 20 foot plus ceilings, full lighting, great room, pre-wired for sound, there’s a piano. Finding another space like that is really hard.  We’re working with some nonprofits and other studios in the area, hopefully find that. We've already talked to performers such a Small House Strings and Mary Beth Maziarz to start that off. Also, Jazz Work from Scott Larabee. So, we're just thrilled with the lineup that we've got so far."

Ioanides says they were excited for the summer concert series but they’re hoping to cultivate some virtual entertainment that could be enjoyed by music patrons this summer.

“The summer series we were super excited about. It included a great act called Upstate, a new upcoming kind of a small, very funky Americana group that we wanted to introduce to the Park City area. If we can get our studio up and running, we may bring them in anyway and broadcast that live to our patrons which is very exciting.  The act after that was due to be Gretchen Wilson. We were so excited. It was on Pioneer weekend."

Ioanides says they’ve been working with the school district to set aside calendar dates for a complete series next year.

“We’ll continue with those plans the way we did for summer if we had green in November, we're ready. If we have green in September, we're ready. If the school district reevaluates and decides to open up the theater, we’re ready. If, however, we can't do shows until January or February or March, there are bigger problems with that because we're running into Sundance. I think not having the Eccles for Sundance will be a real big issue.”

Go to the Performing Arts Institute Facebook page to see curated past performances and a complete list of all the new shows and events.


KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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