The Central Virginian

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Louisa Arts Center no longer the best kept secret

Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

Thanks to the driving force of Executive Director Michael Bollinger and the support of his board of directors, the Louisa Arts Center has seen a tremendous spike in attendance and private contributions this past season—but more is needed.

Bollinger, who spoke at the Louisa County Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting held at the Louisa Health and Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday, Aug. 5, talked to attendees about the arts center and its progression.

The evening before his job interview 18 months ago, Bollinger  went out to eat at a local restaurant and asked the people sitting at a table near him where they were from. They told him they had lived in Louisa all their life. Bollinger asked them if they ever attended the arts center and the reply he received was, “We have one of those?”

About 30 minutes later another person sat to the other side of him and he asked them the same question and received the same answer. He told himself, “Houston we have a problem.”

Bollinger said there were three things that were most important to him when he applied for the executive director position. The first was to make sure the arts center wasn’t the best kept secret in Central Virginia anymore, as well as his desire to increase the arts center’s programming and attendance.

“He has far surpassed those goals,” Supervisor Stephanie Koren, (Mineral District) said. “We are truly blessed to have Michael.”

Through hard work Bollinger has been able to get the word out about the arts center and one way has been having a great presence on the Internet, by, as Bollinger said, “beefing” up the arts center’s web site and posting daily updates on its Facebook page.

“When I got here our likes on Facebook were less than 300,” Bollinger said. “We have been hanging at 996 for a week and I am just dying to get over 1,000.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Bollinger got his wish when the “likes” on the arts center’s Facebook surpassed the 1,000 mark.

A new item introduced and implemented last August was a box office system that allows the public to purchase tickets online.

To read the entire story, see the Aug. 14 edition of The Central Virginian.