A familiar face and voice in Lexington’s arts community is taking on the responsibility of leading a historic theater in the bluegrass community. Whit Whitaker began his new job this week as director of the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.
A Detroit native, Whit Whitaker has been involved in the Lexington arts community, many times in a singing role, for more than three decades. He calls leading the Lyric a “big job”, adding he believes he’s “up for the task.” Whitaker said he’d like to see more financial support for the Lyric. “One of my goals, I want to do here, is to try to help the Lyric establish an endowment, which they don’t have and the board is pretty happy I want to do something like that. So, that will be a long term goal,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker said he’ll work for good quality programming including more traveling art exhibits and national acts. He wants to keep the Lyric in line with what city officials want as well as keep connections with the surrounding community. Whitaker noted the 500 seat capacity of the Lyric does present some challenges. “Now, don’t get me wrong there are a lot of programs that will work in this space, but I think we have to be really deliberate about finding things that compliment the space and will work with specific productions and also be something that audience would want to come and support,” explained Whitaker.
Whitaker is taking over for Chester Grundy who served as interim director since April.
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