Capitol Arts Executive Director Steps Down

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Nearly two years after becoming the executive director of the Capitol Arts Alliance, Mike Thomas is stepping down. Thomas announced his resignation to the Arts board this morning.

The move leaves the Capitol without a director at a time when it seems to be struggling the most. Thomas, however, said he's at peace with his decision to leave.

"Even though I know I'm the right person to lead the Capitol Arts Alliance or the arts in this community, I just didn't feel at this time it was the right job for me," Thomas said.

Thomas' departure means the Capitol Arts Alliance is going to have to figure out what direction to take now.

"We're going to have to take a closer look at exactly what the Capitol Arts Alliance is about and why it was created. (We'll) also take a look at the importance of the vitality that the Capitol Arts building brings to the community," Thomas said.

The Capitol has been struggling financially for the past 10 years. So much so, that in 2001 it closed for a year due to ceiling problems that couldn't be repaired due to lack of money.

"Its always hard when we have to maintain the building and do programming and once an organization like the Capitol slips behind financially you're always playing catchup," noted Rick Dubose, the previous executive director of the Capitol.

Dubose said its going to cost several hundred-thousand dollars to rehab the building and update it technologically.

"Are we a civic center and a theater primarily? Do we concentrate our efforts on keeping the doors open and make that work? Or does somebody else do something with the building, and do we concentrate on programming?" Dubose said.

Thomas said while he's saying goodbye to the Capitol in June, he's not shutting the door on coming back.

"Could I come back to the Capitol? Anything is possible," Dubose said.

Dubose also said that the Capitol Arts Alliance will look at the possibility of partnering up with other groups in order to keep the aging theater up and running.

Thomas said that he still plans on being involved in Bowling Green arts in some capacity.

To view Thomas' resignation letter, click here.

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