ECU Fine Arts Department Brings In Big Acts To Boost Box Office

By: April Davis/ Lindsey Fry
By: April Davis/ Lindsey Fry

Many continue to feel the effects of the economy, and the fine arts department at East Carolina University is no exception.

This is the second year that the department has received no financial help from the state, and associate dean Michael Crane says he hopes the community will step up.

Crane says the department adjusted to its new limited budget, and last year the season ended by breaking even at the box office which they hope to achieve again this year.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the department decided to bring in bigger performances. A decision Crane says was a big risk.

"These are just financial odds that we are not comfortable with. They work, but they are stretching our boundaries," said Crane

To wrap up their 2012 season, Natalie Cole will perform at the Wright Auditorium April 12th. There are 600 seats available and the tickets are 65 dollars for non-students.

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  • by an insider on Mar 12, 2012 at 01:34 PM
    How does one justify a salary like Michael Crane? He brings in "acts" yet gets a stiped (which were supposed to be outlawed) for "extra"work which is part of his job. Not to mention he leaves work to get his kids everyday and brings them to the office. Wish I could get a deal like that.
  • by john Location: farmville on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:51 PM
    bring in a hip hop wannabe drug sales will increase,sales of ammo for the nine will increase, police will get to make overtime, lawers will be in higher demand,patron will sure increase do i need to continue
  • by realistic ECU grad on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM
    Yes,there is waste at ECU and ALL other schools but to cut the fine arts dept.while raising money for a PRACTICE facility for a losing basketball program that doesn't have a snowballs chance on the 4th of July around here of ever being a consistent winning team is ridiculous. They should shift that 15 million over to the academic programs and stop wasting so much on athletics that are never going to pay off!
    • reply
      by m on Mar 12, 2012 at 04:55 AM in reply to realistic ECU grad
      They already have a practice field at North Campus Crossing, why do they need anther. I don't see what's wrong with what the currently have, Student Rec Center, Christen Berry oh yeah Mingees. There are three places to play on campus and add another for North Campus, Talk about wasting money, the Chancellor needs to go. Get some real leadership up top for a change.
  • by here Location: here on Feb 29, 2012 at 08:47 AM
    Tickets are priced WAY to high. I would love to see Ms. Cole, been a fan for years but I refuse to pay those tickets prices!!
  • by Dave Location: Wilson on Feb 29, 2012 at 08:36 AM
    So the daughter of someone famous is a big act? How did that work for the brother of Dolly Parton? I believe the Arts programs at all state funded schools should be first on the chopping block. They are basically state supported hobbies. Music and art majors seldom get jobs in their majors and they are not beneficial to the overall economy. Most of your famous musicians, movie stars and artists did not get a formal 4 year degree in that field.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 29, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    They don't need any money if they can already afford to get Natalie Cole here...seems to me like they are doing just fine! But I really want to know why, when times are tough, do they spend more money and take a bigger risk than thinking logically...getting Natalie Cole to sing at our school under this departments efforts doesn't mean ANYTHING TO ANYONE!
  • by Rocker! on Feb 29, 2012 at 07:23 AM
    She is awesome! Thank you ECU Fine Arts and Communications for bringing her and so many wonderful shows for the community ... and without any tax money support. Time for the community to buy a ticket and support the arts in our area before they leave us forever. I got details and tickets via
  • by Dark Horse on Feb 29, 2012 at 07:14 AM
    Prices are too high. Can't afford to go. Simple.
  • by John Location: Raleigh on Feb 29, 2012 at 05:47 AM
    I attended the Chris Botti show a few weeks back. I was surprised that a big performer like him was at ECU. It was WELL WORTH the money to see him perform. Phenomenal show.
  • by Dave on Feb 29, 2012 at 05:36 AM
    I think the state should re-instate funding. In the grand scheme of things, it's a piddly amount for what benefit it brings the community.
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