Foothills Performing Arts Center brings eclectic music to Oneonta – The State Times

foothills performing arts center

Believe in Roger, Contributing writer

Foothills PAC, located on Market Street, is a nonprofit entertainment and civic center designed to serve the cultural, educational and community needs of Oneonta and beyond. Since opening in 2005, it has become known for its exciting live entertainment featuring nationally renowned musicians and local favorites. As well as music, Foothills also hosts theatre, comedy and theater performances for up to 775 people.

Foothills executive director Geoff Doyle has worked at the venue for 16 years. His day-to-day activities include designing posters and graphics, writing grants, conducting building tours and data entry, in addition to making magic happen in the Foothills by booking a little bit. The venue hosts dozens of events each month and has something for everyone.

The venue consists of several different areas. “The Wright/Wilbur National Bank Atrium is a multi-purpose event space. This can be for everything from blood drives and farmers markets to weddings, birthday parties and celebrations of life. That room is our most popular rental room, That’s for sure,” Doyle said. Another area includes the Bettiol Theatre, which features local musical acts, symphony orchestras, community concert bands, and even the iconic Orpheus Theater – since 1984 Bringing youth programming and musicals to the Oneonta community.

Other areas within the venue include the Production Center, where Bigger Dreams Productions hosts four to eight different shows each year, and The Loft, a small 200-person concert venue popular not only with local musicians, but Also great for birthday parties, baby showers, and similar things. “Every space here is always used for a bunch of weird stuff, and no two weeks are the same,” Doyle said. He’s continuing to come up with more innovative ideas – getting away from tribute bands and getting “something that can get people excited… Not all the bands I bring in have names, but you know you only live once, I think you have to take risks,” he added.

Local musicians can be easily booked. “People can certainly contact me to make reservations. We also have arrangements with the bands where they rent the rooms and keep the money from all the tickets sold. We can do things differently,” Doyle said. Bands can even take advantage of Foothills’ in-house recording studio, Black Hole Studios. A fully functional space they can book for just $20 an hour. It comes with everything – like amplifiers and drums – the band just needs to plug in their guitars. Black Hole Studios allows bands to record faster with professional help.

Foothills has an extensive internship program. This semester, the number of programs tripled as Black Oak on Main Street canceled its program. Doyle explained that interns receive a weekly calendar of events related to the music industry and have the opportunity to book gigs from scratch. Sometimes interns would stay there for a few hours or 12 hours, and Doyle joked that he would “feed them Chinese food and pizza to get them through the day.”

Sara Donovan, a music industry senior who recently interned at Foothills, “would definitely recommend it.” She has many responsibilities, including “running soundboards and lights at concerts, stand-up comedy shows, all kinds of shows.” She also sells tickets, builds and dismantles stage sets, and conducts “general venue reception.” She said the staff was excellent and always willing to teach and help interns.

In the music industry, especially the non-profit world, knowing a little bit about everything will help you get far. As a result, Foothill internships provide a foundation for student success and are a valuable asset to the community. Also, as Doyle points out, the atmosphere at such shows, compared to bar shows, is that the emphasis is on the music and drinking and socializing secondarily.

The Foothills has something for everyone. Follow them on social and website as you’ll see something you like. If you are interested in an internship, you can contact him for more information.

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