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Carolina Performing Arts starts preparing for 10th season

Artists from different corners of the world have told their stories through dance and music in Memorial Hall for 10 years — and now it’s time for the audience to tell theirs.

In preparation for its 10th season, Carolina Performing Arts is inviting people to share their stories and experiences with CPA to be part of the celebration.

Joe Florence, marketing manager of CPA, said that instead of simply putting up banners, they wanted to do something different to celebrate the anniversary.

“We recognize the importance of our audience component, and we wanted to get momentum about the next season, so why not ask them to share their stories?” Florence said.

He said the stories can range from personal experiences to appreciation for specific performances.

“The stories can be broad — you can say ‘I brought my daughter to watch the Nutcracker and we bonded, we had such a great time’,” Florence said.

“What we want to do is to turn the mirror away from us and onto the audience so they can communicate to us what CPA has meant to them in the past 10 seasons.”

Stories submitted before April 11 will be entered into a contest run by CPA, and the winner will receive season tickets for the 2014-2015 series. Other stories will also be chosen to be featured on CPA’s website and a promotional video for the season launch.

“What we’re just doing at this early stage is to try to build the momentum through this ‘Share Your Story’ campaign so that the audience can be part of our season launch,” Florence said. “We want to make them part of the season of CPA.”

So far, they have received about 12 stories from students, faculty and members of the community as of Feb. 11, according to Florence. Most of them detail particular performances that were inspiring and memorable to them.

Mark Nelson, CPA’s director of marketing and communications, hopes to read stories from people whose life experiences have been broadened by some of the Memorial Hall performances.

“What really intrigues me is maybe a student who hasn’t had access to performers like we have at Memorial Hall because they’re from a small rural town or something,” he said. “They come to Carolina where they can see these performers who are performing in other major cities as part of their Carolina experience.”

The 10th season will celebrate its history by inviting top-notch, popular performers who have graced the stage of Memorial Hall in the past and new, exciting acts as well.

Nelson said the season will feature a World War I tribute and two small theater pieces in Historic PlayMakers’s Theater, along with other productions, to help highlight the past 10 years.

The full program will be released in May 2014. In the meantime, the audience can look forward to an exciting season ahead and join in the celebration by sharing their stories with CPA.

“We want the performing arts to have an effect on people beyond just coming to see our performances,” Florence said.

“I hope that the stories showcase how CPA has been a part of people’s lives and the experiences are beyond the walls of Memorial Hall.”

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