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UNI's GBPAC realizes unprecedented growth <br>

Contact: 

Steve Carignan, director, Gallager-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, (319) 273-3665
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Since last year's inaugural season, ticket sales at the University of Northern Iowa?s Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center have increased by 43 percent -- a rarity in the business.

'A significant increase like this is unprecedented in the performing arts,' said Steve Carignan, director of the GBPAC. 'Through an aggressive marketing campaign, community support and staff sacrifices, the Gallagher-Bluedorn has established itself as a cultural catalyst for the Cedar Valley.'

It comes at just the right time. 'We knew we had to increase our revenue from off-campus sources in the face of the state's ongoing budget crisis and cuts to the university,' said James Lubker, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He explained that the GBPAC was facing a potential $200,000 deficit due to the state budget crisis, which affected funding at the university. 'The center's staff was committed to breaking even despite the falling economy. We often worked 60- to 70-hour weeks.'

Carignan said the increase in revenue is attributed to both ticket sales and the doubling of sponsorships and donations. More than 25 business in the Cedar Valley sponsored performances, defraying the cost to the GBPAC. 'It's exciting for the community,' said Carignan. 'Our research shows that patrons attending 'Artist Series' shows at the center generated more than $2.5 million for the Cedar Valley economy over a period of nine months, in restaurants, shopping and hotels.'

Although the 2001-2002 season was clearly a success, Carignan is cautious about the future. 'Ticket sales, so far, are strong for next season. But we don't yet have a cash reserve to deal with future adversity. That's the next step.'

For more information about GBPAC sponsorship, tickets or shows, call (319) 273-SHOW, or visit the Web site, http://www.uni.edu/gbpac.