Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2017

Convention center starts friends program

By ANDY HALLMAN | Oct 02, 2013

The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center has announced a membership program to reward and recognize supporters.

The program is known as the “Friends of the Arts & Convention Center” and began with the 2013-2014 Artist Series.

The friends program’s first special event was Tuesday during the center’s show, “Ring of Fire.” Donors who had given $500 or more were welcomed to the “Friends Lounge,” a room in the atrium that offered free drinks.

Cody Jones, development director of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, said 10 people took advantage of the Friends Lounge Tuesday. He said as many as 50 people are eligible for the Friends Lounge, and he expects that number to grow as the program becomes more widely known.

Jones said the friends program supports vibrant and diverse programming to ensure the center continues providing programming about arts and culture to area youth.

The minimum donation to become a member of the friends program is $100. Access to the Friends Lounge is a special privilege available to the friends who have donated $500 to the center.

All friends will receive at least one free ticket to a show during the center’s 2013-2014 Artist Series. The convention center will also host shows and special events that will be open only to those in the friends program.

Within the friends program are multiple levels corresponding to the amount of money the member has donated. The more money a member donates, the more free tickets and other perks he receives from the convention center. For instance, members of the higher levels are able to order their tickets earlier than the general public to ensure they obtain the seats they want.

Jones said the friends program is the brainchild of the center’s executive director, Rustin Lippincott. When Jones started in his position in early August, Lippincott made it clear that launching the friends program was a high priority.

“We’re very fortunate at the arts and convention center that so many community members believe in what we’re doing and show it by giving their time, talent and treasure,” Jones said. “We wanted to strengthen that relationship, to provide perks and privileges to those people so they would feel part of our family.”

Jones said the feedback he’s received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. He said he expects to get plenty more feedback in time. Some people did suggest a few changes, namely to lower the requirement for members to enter the Friends Lounge to the $500 donor level where it is now.

Jones said the plan is to provide the Friends Lounge for one performance every month during the Artist Series. The next Friends Lounge events are Nov. 2 for “Ed Asner as FDR,” Dec. 14 for “Cherish the Ladies,” Jan. 29 for the “The Addams Family,” Feb. 16 for “Claddagh,” March 11 for “The Fantasticks,” April 4 for “The Dragonfly Orchestra” and May 2 for “The Bronx Wonderers.”

Another promotion the convention center has in store is to offer dinners before some of its shows. Anyone can pay to eat at the dinner, and those who have a ticket to the show will receive a discount on the meal and the drinks.

Those who are interested in learning more about the friends program may contact Jones at 472-2000 or cody@fairfieldacc.com.


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