In the face of an ongoing state budget shortfall, the CSUN Performing Arts Center has managed not only to raise its attendance level, but also to end its 2004-05 season with the highest gross income in its seven-year history.
“It’s really gratifying to see the outcome,” said William Martin, marketing and artistic director or the PAC’s ArtsNorthridge performance series.
The total student attendance at PAC performances increased from 17 percent during the 2003-04 season to 41 percent during the 2004-05 season, Martin said.
The overwhelming turnout was a result of marketing and publicity the PAC used to specifically target students on campus, he said.
“We did so much targeting to students,” he said. “(They had the option of buying) tickets in advance, which I think encouraged them.”
Despite the state budget crisis hovering over the future of the PAC, the center managed to remain successful by reducing the number of events on the schedule and cutting the amount of advertising and marketing, Martin said.
“It was a season of highs and lows,” he said.
By booking popular and in-demand entertainers, the PAC was able to end the season financially well off, Martin said.
Much of the success of the PAC’s season can be attributed to attendance totals for performances from Judy Collins, Tango Pasion, Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and the Limon Dance Company, Martin said.
Linda Eder’s performances in March 2005 were the highest grossing PAC events to date, Martin said. The 500 seats in the PAC quickly sold out in two weeks due to well-placed advertisements in major publications, he said.
“Between Linda Eder and the Limon Dance Company, they turned out the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Martin said.
The PAC will continue to showcase the work of world-renowned artist Andre Miripolsky until December 2005. The PAC currently has two original Miripolsky murals and some mounted and signed lithographs on display in its lobby.
The 2005-06 season is scheduled to feature Metropolitan Opera singer Angela M. Brown, a performance by the Parsons Dance Company and a return of the State Street Ballet and Chilean performance group, Inti-Illimani.
Other PAC plans include the construction of a new 1,700-seat Valley PAC, which is scheduled for completion around 2010.
William Toutant, dean of the College of Arts, Media and Communication, said the success of the new PAC involves increasing the visibility of the current PAC and increasing audience awareness “so we can have a smooth transition when the new building comes.”