It’s a popular word, isn’t it?  We read it in print, we talk about it, and we hear it talked about.  But the moments to savor and enjoy are those when our progress is visible, when a stated goal begins to take shape and become reality.

Here at The Performing Arts Center, we are marking such a moment.

During much of last spring and summer I told you that this season we would be working towards realizing a new vision. I told you that we would curate new work from established artists, incubate new artists of the future, and create opportunities for better engagement with our patrons. We’ve now reached the point where we all, as one community, have reason to celebrate, as we can visibly mark our progress towards this stated goal.

It all began in early October with Artistic Fellow Joanna Gleason welcoming audiences to sit on the stage of the PepsiCo Theatre and watch her work with our students.  We spent the first 20 minutes of her master class continuously adding chairs, and for her return visit in February I may need to buy more!

Just a few days later we presented the first installment in our one of a kind Jazz Series, co-curated with Artistic Fellow Jon Faddis. The theatre was packed for this unique concert, and I have to say that meant a lot to Jon and me, because that kind of response for something new indicates that you trust us, and we won’t forget it.

And the work continues. Choreographer Doug Varone’s new work in the shelter of the fold was co-commissioned by The Performing Arts Center and the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance.  A true collaboration between multiple campus departments and one amazing Purchase alumnus (Mr. Varone), it was created right here on campus, in our rehearsal studios and theaters.  It features 12 of our Conservatory of Dance students side by side with Varone’s professional company members.  Best of all, when we share this piece with you on November 5 we will all become part of history, as you will be the first audience to ever see this piece.  A built in Purchase, by Purchase World Premiere.

That’s what I call “progress.”

-Seth Soloway, Interim Director of The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College

Image: Doug Varone working with Purchase College Conservatory of Dance students during an open rehearsal of in the shelter of the fold.