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Members discuss how to increase involvement with DPAC

Ann-Marie Woods | Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anna Thompson, the executive director for the Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, spoke at the Council of Representatives’s (COR) meeting Tuesday to increase collaboration between the student body and the Center.

COR members asked Thompson how students can get involved and take advantage of the resources at the Center.

A common complaint among student groups is the lack of availability at the Center for student performances. Thompson explained the difficulties she faces in scheduling and availability, as academic programs always take precedence.

“It’s not that we don’t want student groups on the calendar, we just don’t always have the time,” Thompson said.

Student body president Grant Schmidt suggested an “art dollars” program, with money on student identification cards earmarked for purchasing tickets at the Center.

There are so many events that students would enjoy but they don’t know about them, according to Schmidt. The “art dollars” would be a way to encourage students to attend performances and showings at the Center.

The Center is trying to improve its main modes of advertising, with surveys given at the end of screenings and performances, e-mail, print media and advertisements in Scholastic magazine, Thompson said.

“We are trying to be very reactive in our marketing,” Thomson said. “We also want to get into podcasting like the University is trying to get into.”

Thompson said the Center is open to new ideas for collaboration with the student body, including post parties, a mixer-like event following Center performances.

“Two dorms that want to come to an event can partner together and buy tickets, and we’ll have a post party,” Thompson explained.

Thompson also encourages proposals from the student body and faculty to bring a particular artist or group into the Center.

“If you have any groups you want to see in the season, just e-mail me,” Thompson said.

Thompson recommends students and faculty go to the Center’s Web site for the complete schedule for the year.

In other COR news:

uCOR discussed the renovation of the LaFortune Student Center arcade, which is scheduled for the summer of 2010. Once a committee is formed, planning will begin assessing the necessary changes to be made.

uSchmidt reintroduced the use of Domer Dollars off campus as a potential initiative for the year. Schmidt and director of external affairs Gus Gari worked on the proposal last year. They hope to work with Notre Dame and local businesses to enact this program.