Henderson Area Arts Alliance's New Executive Director Looks to the Future

Feb 17, 2017

Alex Caudill and Mareea Thomas in the WNIN studio
Credit Paola Marizan / WNIN

The Henderson Area Arts Alliance has a new executive director.  Mareea Thomas talked with him about the organization and what’s in store for this year and the future.

MT: I’m Mareea Thomas, and I’m joined by Alex Caudill, the executive director of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance.  Thank you for joining us today, Alex.

AC: Happy to be here, Mareea.  Thank you for having me.

MT: You’re welcome.  So, what is the Henderson Area Arts Alliance?

AC: Sure. The Henderson Area Arts Alliance, or HAAA [pronounced “ha”] for short, is the umbrella organization for lots of different artists and arts groups in the Henderson Area.  One of our big goals and primary objectives is to promote the artists in the area and of course to present quality programming, so we’re lucky to have a wonderful season this season for ‘16-‘17 and we’re already looking ahead for the next year.  And then of course, we’ll also continue our educational outreach. It’s so important to us to promote those sorts of programs with students in not only Henderson County but also Union County, Webster County, and some into Evansville in Vanderburgh County as well.

MT: What kind of educational programming do you do?

AC: Well, we do a lot, and normally it’s tied in with the season, the different shows that we have. For instance, the Sons of Serendip Show that’s coming up on Tuesday, February 21st, we’re going to have a 9am school show for 6th and 7th graders in the area to come out and enjoy the arts. It’s free to them. We help sponsor it along with the Henderson County School system.  We’re very happy to have that partnership, lucky to have it.  And then also coming up next month in March we have the Dance Kaleidoscope group coming, and we’re going to be doing a lot of outreach with them. They’re going to be here for a full week.  We’re going to be reaching out to not only students in Henderson County, but also going down to Webster County with students there and Union County as well in addition to reaching some other groups that are often forgotten.  So, we’re going to be working with the Riverview School in Henderson, which is for special needs children, so the Dance Kaleidoscope troupe from Indianapolis is very excited to be coming to work with them.

MT: Going forward what do you think will be the mission of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance?

AC: I think it’s to continue to promote the artists.  We need to promote local talent more, and I will admit in the past that I think our organization has not done that as well as we should, so our goal especially for next season is to promote local talent.  And I hope on our main stage with one of our seven shows we’ll have at least one Kentucky artist if not more, so we’re excited to have that. We’re looking forward to partnering with the City of Henderson and the Downtown Henderson Partnership to potentially have some sort of brown bag lunch type thing so we can promote local artists and local talent in Downtown Henderson even more.

MT: And your venue is located at the Henderson Community College, correct?

AC: Right. It is. We’re lucky to be there on the beautiful Henderson Community College campus.  It’s kind of a hidden gem there.  And happy to have Dr. Chris Williams, who’s the president of the college, on our board for the Arts Alliance as well. She’s a great leader for our community and our region.  So folks, people might be confused. We did really just rename the Henderson Fine Arts Center to the Preston Arts Center, so if people see Preston Arts Center for some of our publications, then it’s really the Henderson Fine Arts Center. We just changed the name recently.

MT: Got it.  And you actually have tickets here for the show on Tuesday, February 21st at 7pm.  What is the show? Sons of Serendip, who are they? What is it?

AC:  Right.  This is Sons of Serendip. The show is called “Songs in the Key of Wonder”.  They were finalists on season 9 of America’s Got Talent. A quartet, really talented group, excited to have them. If you like Stevie Wonder, this is the show for you. They’re going to be doing renditions of Stevie Wonder songs. For more information people can call the box office to buy a ticket at (270) 831-9800 or they can visit us online at haaa.org.

MT: Alright. Thank you so much for coming here today, Alex. And I look forward to seeing what you’ll do with the Henderson Area Arts Alliance in the future.

AC: Thank you, Mareea.

MT:  You’re welcome.  I’m Mareea Thomas for WNIN news.