Programs & Services

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Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center

Profile of Operations, Services and Programs

 OPERATIONS:

 Scheduling:
RAC maintains the facility master calendar, scheduling 130-160 public events annually plus an estimated 800 rehearsals, set-up or maintenance “events.” Scheduling is done through a priority system involving four priority groups, with the academic arts departments comprising the first group. RAC coordinates scheduled events with the campus master calendar through the computerized Event Management System (EMS).  All requests for holding events in RAC should be directed to Operations Manager Eric Hadley at 673-3218.

Front-of-House:
RAC provides house management and ushering services for all public events in the facility. Included are ticket taking; coat check; concessions; and audience seating, safety and comfort.

Backstage Support:
RAC provides direct supervision of all lighting, sound, and other technical and equipment set-up needs of the events in King Concert Hall and Marvel and Bartlett Theatres. For events produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance, RAC signs out equipment only; as the department’s own faculty and students take care of their technical needs. For the School of Music, RAC provides basic supervisory personnel, and for outside groups (rentals) RAC provides supervisors and student crews, with the costs billed back to the user.

Ticketing:
The SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office is a separate business entity under the management of Rockefeller Arts Center.  The ticket office provides ticketing and customer service not only for events in Rockefeller Arts Center’s three performance venues, but also for Rosch Recital Hall, activities in the Williams Center and other campus locations.  The Ticket Office is also an authorized commission sales agent for regional and national bus companies, and serves as a charter bus agency for campus groups planning trips.  In cooperation with the Division of Student Affairs, the Ticket Office also sells tickets for term break charter busses and tickets for airport/train shuttle service at the beginning and end of each semester.

Maintenance:
RAC serves as building-wide liaison to the college maintenance and operations department and plays a significant role in scheduling and deployment of cleaners and custodians. The Rockefeller Arts Center technical director and his staff provide routine maintenance services for lighting equipment, dimmers and stage rigging. RAC also advocates for and helps coordinate building rehab, expansion and renovation projects.

DEPARTMENTAL SERVICES:

Entertainment Guide:
RAC’s annual calendar of events includes all performances and exhibits in the facility, as long as the information is received by the deadline, regardless of sponsor and at no charge. Major events in Rosch Recital Hall have been included since fall of 2014.

Combined Subscription Campaign:
RAC conducts a direct mail campaign, soliciting both renewals and new subscribers not only for its own series (World Travel, Kaleidoscope, and Pops) but also for the Theatre Department's Mainstage Series and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra concerts and the annual Hillman Opera. This program went to the “Mix and Match” format in the 2009-10 season.

Marketing and Publicity Services:
In addition to marketing and publicizing its own sponsored events, Rockefeller Arts Center provides publicity, advertising and marketing campaigns for all events that are part of the Walter Gloor Mainstage Series produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance and the annual Hillman Opera.  RAC also handles press releases for art gallery exhibits. RAC is the only unit on campus, other than the campus Marketing and Communications office and the sports information office, to issue press releases directly to area media outlets.

Centralized Mailing List:
RAC maintains an 12,000-plus name interest-coded mailing list as part of an integrated ticketing-marketing-fund raising data base.  RAC provides snail mail and email services at a nominal charge to campus departments and organizations.  Names are added at point of sale when patrons purchase tickets and through other means such as door prize forms used at selected events. Email addresses are also stored, for those patrons willing to furnish them.

Combined Playbill:
RAC solicits ads, typesets and coordinates production of playbills for Mainstage, Pops, Kaleidoscope, the Hillman Opera, and the Fredonia Chamber Players Sunday Classics concerts. There are 15 (+/-) issues annually with a total circulation of about 14,000.

Grant-Making:
RAC makes annual financial awards from the Friends Annual Fund to the Department of Theatre and Dance, the School of Music and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra to support the Mainstage Series, the Hillman Opera and the Sunday Classics Concerts, respectively.  An annual grant is also made to the Gallery.

Marketing Research:
As the need arises, RAC conducts email survey of current and past patrons. Academic departments are given the opportunity to have questions included. Results are tabulated and analyzed by RAC and shared with the departments. Normal frequency every year to 18 months.  

Individual Event Marketing:
The grid below shows the detailed single ticket marketing an publicity services provide by RAC’s Public Relations Assistant.  The expansion of services to the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Opera occurred when the position moved from 80% to full time in April of 2007. An “X” means that it is a service provided by RAC. However, the expense of printing, postage, and ad space is provided by the respective department producer. If no “X” appears, the respective department is responsible.

 

   Project/Activity/Task For RAC For T&D For
Gallery
For Hillman Opera For WNYCO

   Press Releases

X

x

x

X.

(WNYCO)

   Postcards – Write, Design & Print

X

X

(Gallery)

(SofM)

(WNYCO)

   Newspaper Ads – Design & Place Ads

X

X

N/A

X

(WNYCO)

   Radio Advertising – As required – place ads

X

(X)

N/A

(X)

(WNYCO)

   Email Blasts to RAC List – Create & Send

X

X

X

X.

X

   Bulk Mail Preparation

X

X

(Gallery)

X

X


PROGRAMMING:

World Travel Series:
This annual series features three feature length color film lectures narrated in person by their producers.  2015-16 season will be the final year of this series which was established in 1983. The travel adventure series has been in decline for many years. Almost all of the people who produce quality films have retired or are only doing shows on a part-time basis, and new people have not come into the field in sufficient numbers to sustain the series over the long haul.

On Stage For Youth:
An annual series of performing arts field trip opportunities for area elementary schools featuring 12-14 performances by five to six professional touring companies and artists each season.

Kaleidoscope:
Family entertainment series aimed at children ages 6-10 and their parents.

DFT Communications Pops:
Initiated by RAC in 1991-92, this is an annual series of three concerts of “lighter” musical fare. Types of music presented include jazz, big band, Broadway show tunes, etc. Notable artists have included Dave Brubeck, Roger Williams, The Boston Brass, The Moscow Boys Choir, The Hit Men (prior members of the Four Seasons) and The Swingle Singers. The season ends with a traditional commencement-eve concert featuring student singers backed by the Western New York Chamber Orchestra or The Little Apple Big Band, RAC’s 17-piece house big band comprising top jazz players from the Western New York region and beyond.  These pops concerts are produced by Rockefeller Arts Center in collaboration with invited faculty and staff members from the School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance.  In the fall of 2012 and 2014 the same format was extrapolated to December for a “Big Band Christmas Spectacular” featuring dancers as well as singers.  The 2012 edition was the first complete sell out in King Concert Hall, other than Yo-Yo Ma, in over 30 years.

Special Events:
RAC undertakes limited presenting outside of established series, sometimes with one or more co-sponsors, sometimes on its own. Military bands (co-sponsored with the Evening Observer) and, on occasion, other special attractions are presented.

SUPPORTING SERVICES:

Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center:
RAC conducts the annual campaign for Friends of RAC, bringing in about $65,000 a year from nearly 500 donors. Income supports RAC programs and services as well as the Mainstage Series, the Annual Hillman Opera and the Fredonia Chamber Players Sunday Classics Series and the gallery exhibition program.

Dallas K. Beal Community Access Fund
Rockefeller Arts Center is the designated manager of the earnings from this endowment held at the Fredonia College Foundation.  Working in partnership with local non-profit agencies, the earnings are used to purchase tickets for area residents, especially children and families who could not otherwise afford the cost of admission. Tickets can be bought for any cultural event, not just those sponsored by Rockefeller Arts Center.  RAC works with the development office staff to encourage additional gifts to the fund.

Major Gifts:
The RAC director works with the College Development Office in prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of gifts at the level of $5,000 and up; these gifts are generally designated for endowment purposes.  With the 40,000 square foot expansion and renovation of many existing spaces, over $1.5 million in naming opportunities have been identified and RAC is much more involved in major gift fund raising than in the past.

Corporate Sponsorships:
RAC works with the college’s development office to coordinate solicitation of sponsorships not only for Arts Center programs but also for other programs including the Walter Gloor Mainstage Series.  In 2007-08 this program was expanded to include three levels of sponsorship: season, series and individual event. Lake Shore Savings has been the season-wide sponsor since the inception of the multi-tier model.

Grant Writing:
The RAC director writes occasional grant applications to foundations and other sources in support of center programs and projects. Support has been received from the Margaret W. Wendt Foundation, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour. Grants are written for specific strategic opportunities and initiatives, and none have been pursued in the last few years.

Management and General:
RAC provides management oversight, general coordination and general record keeping including complete general ledger for all of the above operational areas, programs and services. Profit and Loss statements and balance sheets are generated periodically through the season and at the close of the fiscal year on June 30.

Updated July 2015

Relationship to the Arts Administration Program:

The director of Rockefeller Arts Center also serves as director of the interdisciplinary model major and minor in arts administration. The curriculum uses courses from a variety of departments, including Accounting, Business Administration, Communication, English, Psychology and Philosophy. About ten to twenty majors are enrolled in the program at any one point in time. The director of RAC serves as the academic advisor to the students and as instructor of record for RAC based practica and field placement internships. The program places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning and many of the students do paid work on the student staff at RAC after they have completed practica assignments. Students are involved in all four of the major program and service categories cited above.



Page modified 8/29/15