Updated Sat, Sep 29, 2012 10:54 am
The Lancaster Festival and The Ohio University Lancaster Campus are looking at ways to expand their relationship beyond the traditional summer musical events that made use of the outdoor resources of the campus for more than 25 years.
"We are still working out the details, but we hope to help the Festival find ways to use the indoor resource of our 500 seat theatre and host musical talent in the fall and spring," said Lancaster Campus Dean Dr. Jim Smith. "One of our campus goals has been to become the cultural and intellectual center of Fairfield County and the surrounding area. Building on the existing relationship we have with the Lancaster Festival is an exciting way to do that."
"The idea of these two vital community organizations coming together makes great sense to me," said Steve Wells, Lancaster Festival board member and Ohio University Lancaster/Pickerington Promise Lives Campaign committee chair. "Ohio University Lancaster is working hard to provide access and be a resource for local people in all kinds of ways. The Lancaster Festival has a great record of bringing talented people here. Working together benefits us all and furthers the mission of both organizations. I am very excited to see this happening."
Every summer, the Ohio University Lancaster Campus hosts many events for the Lancaster Festival. The two main shows are held on the campus’ back lawn. This past year, swing group Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and country music star Clay Walker played on the Wendel Concert stage. A smaller event occurred during Festival week with the premiere of Different Strings, featuring Amanda Shires and Hayes Carll.
"Up and coming artists, like these, will work well in a smaller venue like the Wagner Theatre and are likely to appeal to traditional festivalgoers and be of interest to students," said Smith. "The thought of being part of something that brings more music and cultural arts events to the Lancaster Campus and Fairfield County is something that we as a campus community are very excited about. This is something that will be good for our students, the Festival and the community."