Email to the Largo Mayor and Commission
I read the article in Sunday's paper regarding Curtis Holmes feelings about the Cultural Center. I could not agree with him more. I have thought for a long time that the building is not used to its full potential. There are numerous events that could make it a well-used building. I have thought, for example: dance recitals from local dance schools; school plays and/or little theater; musical renditions by the local schools - yes, other people in the community would enjoy listening to the band, the glee club, besides the parents and brothers and sisters; and of course, local talent. Maybe an annual local talent contest. Monthly meeting place for a small sum, for local clubs, train, computer, genealogy, civil war buffs and the like.
I believe there are people in our midst that love to entertain for little or no money, and for experience. I just takes someone with enthusiasm to get the ball rolling. Any A Capella groups? Barbershop Quartettes? How about Sweet Adelines? Youth Magicians?
Well, I could go on, and on, and on. Advise if you want to discuss this any further.
The manager of the cultural center should have the different rooms booked to the MAX. Isn't that his job?
I look forward to a reply with your thoughts.
Dear Ms. Randle:
Thank you for your email regarding the Largo Cultural Center. Many of your suggestions are ones that we have been implementing for a number of years. We currently have a number of dance schools that regularly hold their recitals at the Center-so many that we affectionately refer to June as our "tu-tu" month. We also host local talent competitions and have successfully produced a number of Largo Teen Idol competitions. Our Community Center also hosts an adult and senior talent show. We host a wide range of meetings from corporate to clubs. Many of the clubs-such as the genealogy group-are looking for free space and meet at the Largo Public Library, others are looking for much lower cost space and use our recreation centers for their meetings. We do have an annual Elvis Birthday Bash where we hire very low cost Elvis impersonators to perform. We also have an agreement with the Tampa Bay Magic Club to meet and perform at the center. The Pinellas County Schools do not typically want to pay for performance space, but we have had success with some private and proprietary schools with renting our facility for graduations and other events.
There is a real danger in using free or low cost performers and that is the quality of the performances. If your venue becomes known as a place for amateur performances it severely limits your ability to attract higher paying acts and audiences. It is hard to mix and match amateur and professional.
Our goal is always to have the Center booked as much as possible but as in any business there is prime time and "down time." We have been successful in booking a variety of Community Theater and professional performers during our prime time. We have also concentrated efforts on attracting meetings during daytime hours, but as I am sure you can appreciate that is a very competitive market and companies have cut back on their meetings the last few years.
In short most of your suggestions are being implemented currently at the center but we continue to strive to increase the number of paid uses that will help us to build a high quality but affordable reputation in the community to make the Largo Cultural Center accessible and successful.
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