New Albany News

McCoy's next year will include headliners, video rig


The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts has ambitious plans for the next year, including bringing some big-name entertainers to the small venue.

Bill Connor, executive director of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, which manages the McCoy, told patrons at the April 24 McCoy Center Celebration that the center would host entertainers not normally seen in a 750-seat venue.

McCoy board president David Martin announced the 2014-15 season, which includes: Mary Chapin Carpenter on Sept. 21; Lyle Lovett on Oct. 31; Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama on Feb. 15; Dennis DeYoung on Feb. 16; and Bruce Hornsby on May 6.

Martin also said McCoy officials plan to install a state-of-the-art video system with a screen that could be used to show films.

He said the system installation would cost about $100,000. The McCoy will use $50,000 from Rick and Sara Mershad of New Albany that was donated to match a $50,000 state grant included in the recent capital-budget bill.

The system is expected to be installed this year, but a date has not been chosen.

Martin said he hopes the video system will encourage New Albany-Plain Local students to explore the use of photography, software, music, acting, writing, editing and other disciplines related to film.

He said New Albany High School plans to start a film-studies class, which also could make use of the equipment.

Martin said his goal is to encourage the development of a film festival, potentially including a showcase for short films made with smartphones.

"I'd love to work toward a film festival some day," he said.

Superintendent April Domine said the school district is looking forward to partnering even more with CAPA. This school year, CAPA coordinated 22 Opera Columbus performances at the district's two elementary schools

The district also will work with CAPA to design an arts academy that could be offered to elementary and middle school students in the 2015-16 school year, she said.

New Albany-Plain Local teachers, students and parents on Feb. 20 introduced four preliminary concepts for "academies" that could be established in the 2015-16 school year. The academies would be for the arts, STEM courses, international education and student empowerment.

Domine said the school district frequently uses the McCoy. Recent examples from last week included first-graders performing in the auditorium and high school students presenting a fashion show during the high school's annual Peace Week celebration.