As the Kentucky Center celebrates its 30th anniversary season, Center staff have been discussing how they entered this business and when they felt their first "arts crush." Laura Walker, our box office Group Relations and Training Coordinator, provided this account, which feels very timely as the holiday season rolls around.
My family is very, very small. On my dad’s side I only have two cousins – both girls, and then it’s just me and my two sisters, so that’s a total of five girls.
My uncle, who is a Catholic priest and thus never had any children, loved all of us very, very much, but could never figure out what to get any of us for Christmas. So instead, he would take us to see live theatre.
At first, he would just bring us to the Nutcracker every year. I believe I was only around 5 years old the first time I saw it, but I specifically remember being totally enchanted by both the performance and the massive size of Whitney Hall. Every Christmas I would look forward to going. Not only did it feel like a special, important night out at a huge theatre, but I also rarely came downtown so I thought it was just the coolest.
After seeing the Nutcracker for several years, we decided to expand our Christmas theatre adventures. We saw A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville several times. We went to Bunbury Theatre a couple of times. And we went back to ATL for performances like A Tuna Christmas and A Christmas Story. In middle and high school, I would always brag to my friends that I went to see live theatre every Christmas.
I think that these yearly Christmas plays really helped my love of the arts to grow and aided me in my choice of majors in college (I was an arts administration major).
After working in retail for several years, I decided to start looking for jobs at places that meshed well with my major. That’s when I discovered that the Kentucky Center was hiring part-time customer service reps in the box office. As soon as I saw the job opening, I remembered being a little girl and sitting in awe in Whitney Hall watching the Nutcracker. I knew it was meant to be, so I applied, got the job, and have been here ever since! (a little over a year).
I truly owe my love of theatre and the arts in general, plus my relationship with the Kentucky Center to my uncle (Father Chuck Walker). Without him and his Christmas gift to me, my sisters, and my cousins, I probably would not be working here today.