Group works to sustain Paducah arts and entertainment

Without your help, the arts community in Paducah suffers. Progress Paducah knows the struggle these groups face to get support.

The group held a meeting on Thursday night to discuss how to sustain the arts and entertainment community in Paducah and attract more volunteers to key arts groups.

Founded almost 40 years ago, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra is the area’s only professional orchestra, entertaining and educating the community.

"We are providing an entire tapestry of music education and opportunities for all ages,’ said Paducah Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Daniel Sene.

Sene says now, more than ever, it needs the community’s help. The Paducah Symphony Orchestra runs on a $1 million annual budget, with a quarter coming from ticket sales. The rest comes from donations and fundraising events. 

"Year after year grants are becoming less and less from the federal government and also local and state governments," Sene said.

Venues also rely heavily on donations. On average, it takes $5,000 per day to open the doors of the Carson Center.

"A lot of people aren’t aware of how much it takes to run this facility and keep it running," said Carson Center House Manager and Event Supervisor Chuck Tate.

Tate says the center has a huge impact on the economy, attracting 100,000 people through it’s doors last year. He says that’s twice as much as the local convention center, yet it gets no funding from the county.

"It’s just creating a dialog and starting that conversation," Tate said.

It’s a conversation he hopes raises more awareness for Paducah’s arts and entertainment. 

Tate, Sene and other art groups spoke at the Progress Paducah Thursday night. Progress Paducah started in August, picking a topic to focus on at meetings each month.

At Thursday’s meeting the Paducah Symphony Orchestra announced it’s holding PaBREWcah in June. It’s a beer fest the orchestra will use as a fundraiser.   

The meeting runs through 6:30 p.m. at the Market House Black Box Studio Theater. If you miss it, but have ideas you want to share, join to the Progress Paducah facebook group.

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