Along with art often comes entertainment and Carson City's Brewery Arts Center gained an immediate infusion of entertainment expertise with the start of a new executive director this week.
John Procaccini, a 29-year entertainment industry veteran, took over as the organization's top administrator Monday, one month after the resignation of Phil Caterino, who left the $40,000-a-year job after two years to become project director of the Building Bridges project.
BAC Board of Directors Chairwoman Susan Crowell said Procaccini's fresh perspective and energy will reinvigorate the center's staff and volunteers with ideas of expansion and change.
"We think he has a vision," Crowell said. "We think he is going to move the Brewery Arts Center forward."
Procaccini's general vision is to expand the scope and influence of the arts in Carson City.
"Arts bring excitement to an area. There is nothing that can replace that," he said.
Procaccini, the son of Rhode Island deli owners, began his career in entertainment in 1976 as a lighting technician for club bands in New England. A year later he went on the road with the rock group, Boston, as a set carpenter. Throughout the 1980s he rose through the industry to become production and stage manager for acts like Jefferson Airplane and Sammy Hagar.
By the late 1980s, Procaccini had formed his own set and scene construction company and was producing sets and events for dozens of famous performers as well as MTV. In 2001, Procaccini also got involved in artist management with the creation of ChiliBop Entertainment.
In Carson City, Procaccini owns the Upstage Center Theatre on Mallory Way and was an organizer of the Capital Concert series in Mills Park two years ago.
"I have some contacts I think will help to lure some larger, more well-recognized artists in different genres," Procaccini said Tuesday.
Music, however, will not be Procaccini's sole focus with the BAC.
Procaccini said he plans to ride what he called the BAC's "baseline activities" such as fine arts exhibitions and the BAC Stage Kids program, which he said have generated great community response.
He also has ideas for expanding the center's programs to attract visitors and participants with interests in different art forms.
"We'd like to introduce some programs that are a little more contemporary," he said.
A digital audio studio and animation facilities that could potentially link up to Carson High School's video production programs are things "we immediately want to investigate," Procaccini said.
The arts center is also exploring bringing in more contemporary plays, including the off-broadway production, "Tony and Tina's Wedding," where the actors intermingle with the audience while the scenes unfold.
The immediate focus of the center, according to Procaccini and Crowell, is community outreach and fund-raising as the center continues to renovate what Crowell calls BAC's "campus" on West King Street - the old Carson Brewing Co. building, now the center's visual arts and ballroom hall, and the old St. Teresa Church that is now the BAC Performance Hall.
n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.