UWP Performing Arts Series gets boost

October 17, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - The Performing Arts Series at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is receiving more and more attention for the quality of acts at the Center for the Arts. The Wisconsin Arts Board is continuing to show its support, and has awarded more than $6,000 in grant funds for this year's series.

UWP competed against 30 other applicants statewide for Performing Arts Network funds.

"The series is starting to be noticed at the arts board and by other venues. Some of the responses I got from the panel said they liked the way the series is going," program coordinator for the Center For the Arts John Hassig said. "That is pretty good when compared to the facilities we competed against."

In fact, the attention the series has received has helped UWP land top-of-the-line acts. This year's series will feature the Vienna Boys Choir March 1, 2004, a performance Hassig was surprised he was able to schedule after their booking manager called him.

"They could have called Madison or Dubuque, but they called here. That's pretty special," Hassig said.

The first show of the series, a stop on the national tour of "Singin' in the Rain" in early October, was a complete success. A sold-out crowd enjoyed period costumes and props, a live orchestra and a "rain machine" that actually made it rain onstage for the scene that was originally made famous by Gene Kelley.

Funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board and other sources has allowed the series to improve while lessening the financial burden on students.

"It's increased the number of performances available to the students, and we're able to get bigger and better acts than we have in the past," Hassig said.

Organizers try to keep tickets affordable for students and community members, and noted that the most expensive ticket to a Performing Arts Series show is $25, whereas a show on Broadway will charge $100 or more.

"I think we're providing a really good value for the community," Hassig said.

A nine-time All Ireland Fiddle Champion and "Riverdance" alum will bring a mix of African and Latin percussion and bass, Irish instrumentalists and American soulful vocals as the next performance of the UWP Performing Arts Series. Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul will be featured at the Center For the Arts at 8 p.m. Oct. 21.

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