News Column

Niswonger unveils new concert series

June 12, 2014

By Craig Kelly, The Lima News, Ohio

June 12--VAN WERT -- The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is embarking on its most ambitious concert season yet, with a diverse group of acts on tap.

"This is probably the most diverse group of entertainment we've had here," marketing director Tafi Stober said during the season unveiling Wednesday. "There's everything from dog shows to ice shows to Kenny Rogers to Newsboys."

With 25 acts ranging from country to classical to Broadway and more, this is the largest series ever put together at Niswonger. For Stober and the other staff, the idea is to try to reach out to as many different demographics as possible.

"We want to make sure we have opportuities for every interest," she said. "That's what we're all about. We want to reach people who have never been out here."

Bringing in such acts as The Olate Dogs or the Holiday Ice Spectacular are somewhat beyond the organizers' experience. Stober acknowleged that while they are taking some risks in bringing in new talent, the risks will also have their rewards.

"We are taking a risk in trying to reach out to new audience types," she said. "We know that if we had chose a certain type of format, we could pack the house, but your mission isn't fulfilled unless you're reaching out to everyone with the performing arts That's why the risk is worth it."

Executive director Paul Hoverman is excited to see how the public reacts to knowing that such acts as Josh Turner, Kenny Rogers, Sinbad, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Newsboys are coming to Van Wert.

"We definitely have a full plate this year," he said. "We've got everything from kids' shows to adult contemporary to country to jazz and Broadway to Christian music. Hopefully, we've hit everything. I encourage everyone to come out here and give something a try."

Since opening its doors in 2007, Niswonger has experienced tremendous growth as it has brought various musical acts, theatre and educational lectures to Van Wert. With this upcoming season, Hoverman hopes to see that trend continue.

"We have a mailing list of 16,000 people right now, but we still run into pockets of people who have never been here," he said. "So that shows there is still a lot of potential for growth."


(c)2014 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)

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Source: Lima News (OH)

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