And now presenting…Beer!

The next time you visit our campus’s Fine and Performing Arts Center for a special event, you may be able to also enjoy a nice glass of wine or your favorite beer. On Sept. 1, the board of trustees passed an amendment to serve alcohol at the FPAC during evening performances. The Fine and Performing Arts Center Director, Paul Lormond, believes that this new installment will be a very helpful, but small, source of income. Most of the profit will go to the caterers of these beverages, Aramark, but a percentage will go to the university itself. Lormond believes that it will “enhance” attendance to shows. “I believe it will make evenings of theater and dance more social,” says Lormond.When questioned about any controversy that may arise from this installment, Lormond believes that it will be met with none. “We made the announcement in July at two shows using surveys, letting everyone know that we were getting ready to serve alcohol. It was met with great positive reactions. Nothing negative. I think it helps that we will be serving it in designated areas, not along with our regular concessions. People realized that we needed to create revenue.” You can expect to enjoy these beverages at any performance except those directed for younger audiences, such as the upcoming Woods and Strings puppet show. Meeting earlier this month, Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees voted to amend the campus’s alcohol policy. This amendment allows the FPAC to serve beer and wine in accordance to another amendment that was created recently by the N.C. General Assembly. The Assembly voted to allow institutions of the University of North Carolina system to serve alcoholic beverages at their performing arts centers. By law, you must have 2,000 seats or less for the purpose of displaying arts such as music, film, theater, recitation, and performance art to be considered a performing arts center. The FPAC qualifies with its 1,000 seats and array of shows that celebrate many diverse forms of art. “We believe this will be a good opportunity for income. We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback and we want everyone to remember that this a controlled area with an evening for elegance and art so we want people to enjoy it even more,” said Lormond in closing. He gives a friendly invite to the students and community to attend the center’s spectacular events. But, there are some issues to remember: • Drinks will be served exactly one hour before the beginning of a show and during intermissions only. • No beverages are allowed in the theater.• Must be 21 and older for the purchase and consumption of alcohol. • Remember your ID! And…always remember to drink responsibly!