Q&A: BAC’s Gina Lopez talks Levitt AMP Concert Series

Gina Lopez

Gina Lopez

Gina Lopez took over as executive director of the Brewery Arts Center in 2014. In 2016 the Brewery Arts Center received a matching grant from the Levitt AMP Concert Series for $25,000. Since then, the BAC has hosted more than 50 free concerts for Carson City.
This year’s series kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday with SambaDá taking the stage.
Here’s a Q&A with Lopez about the concert series:

Q: How excited are you for the Levitt AMP Concert Series this year?

LOPEZ: It's a little strange this year because I'm scared to let myself get too excited. After the last few years, I feel like anything can happen but the best part of working in the creative arts is how we can adapt if something unexpected does happen. In 2020, people loved our flatbed concert series and in 2021 we had the honor of presenting concerts at fire evacuation facilities for folks who really needed the healing power of music. It's all about fulfilling our mission.

Q: Will there be anything different this year from years past?

LOPEZ: Yes, we are fortunate to have two incredible Youth Advisory board members at the BAC. Erich Parker and Deepti Anun have been advising our organization as to how to get more teens engaged in the programming and with that in mind, they are creating a special section of the campus just for teens during the concerts. They were even awarded a grant from the Carson City Cultural Commission for this and other programming throughout the year by teens and for teens. Also, the theme of the year is joy. We want to encourage everyone to just come out and spread joy however they can.

Q: How important is it to have a diverse lineup with different genres each week?

LOPEZ: A diverse line up is probably the most important aspect to the series and a big part of what we've learned from the Levitt Foundation. Inclusivity is a key to community building and it is our job to make sure all sectors of our community feel represented. A beautiful way to do this is through music. Music and shared experience connect us all and is the vehicle to building a safe community. Aside from those benefits, a diverse lineup will also introduce our audience to new bands and genres and cultures they may have never known existed. We always say that you have to eat your musical vegetables, you may not like everything, but it is important to try them all.

 

Q: How does this event help the community?

LOPEZ: Every great community must have a vibrant arts and culture sector. It is important for the economy of the city, and it is important to cultivate to keep a talented and educated workforce. Otherwise, our citizens will go and spend their time and dollars elsewhere. After seven years, it truly makes up the social fabric of our city and connects us on a human level. We all experience moments that cannot be replicated, whether a new friendship formed or an old one reunited... a child dancing with a parent, people from all demographic backgrounds are able to share an experience together with no financial barriers. Everyone is on the same level and the joy that comes out of these nights is palpable and addicting. People look forward to it every year.

Q: What’s your favorite part about the concert series?

LOPEZ: Our team. Our village. We have a solid yet welcoming group of staff and volunteers that make this happen year after year and I love seeing them arrive all energetic in their Levitt shirts at the beginning of the day and leave pretty tired at the end of the night, but before they go, we usually get a moment to share a drink and leftover food that we were too busy to eat during the concert and talk about our favorite moments of the evening and laugh and smile together. That, to me, is what makes it all worth it.


IF YOU GO
WHAT: SambaDá at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series
WHERE: The Change Companies Stage, 449 West King St. at the Brewery Arts Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 25
MORE INFO: breweryarts.org
https://www.sambada.com

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