The Center for Performing Arts making memories in its first five years

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By Mark Ambrogi

As The Center for the Performing Arts marks its fifth anniversary this week, there are many positive signs.

The Center, which had its ribbon cutting on Jan. 22, 2011 and a gala dinner and concert a week later, recently announced it posted a surplus for the second year in a row.

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, the Center’s President/CEO, described it as year of growth and vibrancy across the non-profit organization.

The Center posted income totaling $8,707,684 and expenses totaling $8,447,239. Revenue drivers include ticket sales, facility rentals, and contributed income.

Moskalenko, who has been president since June 2012, said she is proud of the Center established itself as an integral part of the arts and cultural landscape of Central Indiana.

“Having had over 615,000 people come through our campus from all 92 counties in Indiana, all 50 states in the nation, and 23 different countries speaks to the impact and significance of our Center,” Moskalenko said. “We have a strong board, a strong staff, and a vibrant patron base all who support the artists and programs we bring to our campus making our future look very bright.”

The Palladium recently held its first New Year’s Eve event with The Hot Sardines as the main attraction.

“The New Year’s Eve Party turned out to be such a great event that I know we will be repeating it for years to come,” Moskalenko said “But, that success came after deliberate and thoughtful planning. When we look toward the future there are many things we’d like to do and many more artists we’d like to present. I’d like to be able to take more risks by introducing new and cutting edge artists to our audiences. Sometimes, those are the most exciting projects.”

Frank Basile, who served as interim president from July 2011 until Moskalenko’s hiring, said that hiring is one of his fondest memories.

“I always think a person in an interim position is judged by the effectiveness of the person they get to come in a permanent basis,” Basile said. “I could not have been happier with Tania.”

Basile, who lives on the north side of Indianapolis, enjoying making new friends in Carmel during his tenure.

“We were welcomed so warmly by people.” Basile said. “Another memory I have is meeting some of the very fine people who perform there, for example Tony Bennett. I found them all to be really good people and happy to be performing at the Palladium.”

Basile also enjoyed developing a friendship with Michael Feinstein, the Center’s artistic director, and partner Terrence Flannery.

Moskalenko said she loved many of the performances during her tenure but a few do stand out.

“Harry Connick, Jr. was truly special, not only because he opened our fifth anniversary season, but also because he was so complimentary of our hall, our staff, and our community, both on stage and off,” Moskalenko said. “Chris Botti delivered a concert with a sound so pristine that I will always treasure that evening. Then there have been the less well-known performers, like Samite of Uganda, whose performance turned into a dance party that brought all of the audience members together on stage. The Rioult Dance Company performances a couple of years ago was also exciting because it included a lot of outreach activities that really allowed us to make an impact into the community.”

For Mayor Jim Brainard, the variety of entertainment has been special.

“We’ve seen some wonderful shows there from all different types of musicians from classical symphonies to country to our Songbook Series that the rest of the world knew America by from the 1920s through World War II,” he said. “I think one of the most fun things I go to every year is Michael Feinstein’s Songbook Academy for talented high school students. They come from all over the country. It’s a great opportunity for the kids.”

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