CFTPA CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko details what it takes to present a 10-series season
For many, scheduling more than 45 musical acts for a full season is a daunting task.
For Center for the Performing Arts CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, it is business as usual and something she has been doing for more than 15 years. The massive lineup, its announcement and the upcoming performances are the culmination of more than a year’s work. (The full schedule, as of press time, may be found on pages 19-23 in today’s edition of Current.)
Scheduling a season
“(Scheduling) is a very complex process,” Moskalenko said. “I think of a full season at once, and I like to call it curating, like you would consider and conceive an art exhibit.”
Much like curators attempt to find visual balance within an art exhibit’s pieces and the space, Moskalenko works to find balance between a number of factors and the available venues.
“There are many considerations (she keeps in mind). The first and foremost is really knowing the community that you live in and knowing your patron base. For us, it’s not just important to know Carmel, but it is also important to know who we serve, and certainly we serve more than Carmel,” she said. “We have patrons from 44 states, 10 countries and five continents. That’s pretty remarkable for such a young organization.”
The CFTPA’s 2013-2014 schedule includes 10 series, each of which highlights a specific genre of music or style of entertainment. Each series presents challenges, but Moskalenko and others work to make sure the acts being scheduled make sense for the CFTPA’s venues, including the Palladium.
“There is such a wide variety of artistic choices. For each genre we present, we then start focusing on those and who would be a great fit for our venue based on the community we serve and the size of our venues,” Moskalenko said. “We’d love to present Elton John, but that’s not going to happen at a venue our size, so we have to recognize (that).”
Even when an artist or performance fits both CFTPA’s patronage and the venue, it may not always make sense financially. Considering the financial impact of an act and judging its success is something that is central to the planning of any season.
“(We have to ask), Does it financially make sense to bring an artist into our space? We want to be good stewards of the public dollars we receive, and we want to keep ticket prices affordable,” she said.
After all of these components are considered, only then can an act finally be scheduled.
“(Scheduling) is not a process you do for two months and don’t revisit until next year. The booking process is something that’s continual,” Moskalenko said.
During the coming months, CFTPA will be working to add more artists to the schedule as more good fits are found throughout the world of music, performing arts and dance.
The importance of world-class artists
The 2013-2014 season includes a new World Stage series that is set to feature artists that include Fernando Otero, Mariza and The Chieftains. Presenting a wide array of international acts is something that is very important to Moskalenko, she said. In many ways, it is about more than just art.
“I think that the area, Carmel specifically, and the greater Indianapolis area are two areas that are growing in terms of demographics. I feel that if we are going to continue the efforts of attracting talent into the area, then we need to be providing the same type of entertainment and artists these kinds of professionals would expect (to have access to) if they moved to New York or Chicago or Boston,” Moskalenko said.
As an example, Moskalenko named Lang Lang, a Chinese pianist opening the 2013-2014 season this September, who took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics’ opening ceremony and has played Carnegie Hall, the White House state dinner and more. As one of the world’s leading pianists, Lang Lang is exactly the type of high-profile act CFTPA is excited to have booked for the upcoming season.
A place for discovery
While well-known and big-name acts are certainly always a key aspect of each of CFTPA’s seasons, Moskalenko also believes that it is the responsibility of the venue to book those artists who are looking to change their respective art forms, acts that are creating something new.
“It’s our responsibility to push the envelope in some respects,” she said. “It’s about discovery. Our responsibility is to provide that platform for our patron base to come here and discover new things.”
Last year, Moskalenko saw this type of discovery in Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band, a performance that quickly sold out due to the public’s awareness of Laurie’s role on the popular television show, “House,” rather than his band’s blues and folk music. At the performance, many people came to discover an entirely new genre of music that they had never considered.
Since then, Moskalenko has had many people ask her when Laurie might be coming back and whether any similar artists are being scheduled. Creating that kind of excitement for art is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“It’s so rewarding as a curator to say, ‘Wow, someone discovered this and their eyes, their world, opened up,’” she said.
To view the recently announced 2013-2014 season, click here.
For more information on CFTPA’s current and upcoming seasons, visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org or call 843-3800.