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Pier paints picture of arts center's future

Community Portrait
By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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As development plans for Folsom’s new visual and performing arts center draw near, a new leading face emerges as well. Dave Pier joined Folsom Lake College as the new executive director for the college’s regional Visual and Performing Arts Center. The new center is currently under construction and plans to be completed later this year with a grand opening in February. “Right now, I’m doing the behind-the-scenes work and putting the pieces together in finding staffing, a ticket system and talent,” said Pier. “It’s laying a lot of the groundwork.” Pier may be new to Folsom, but his experience in arts administration is not. His work with community arts organizations began in the 1980s while serving as an officer of the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley. As his career grew, he also moved around to different venues and organizations including serving on the Ventura County Arts Commission, as director of the Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge, and serving as the managing director of the John Anson Ford Theatres, Hollywood’s historic theatre complex. In 2006, Pier said he was asked to step in on short notice to oversee the opening of the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto and on January 4, he assumed his position in Folsom to manage the opening and ongoing operations of the new regional arts center. “Before we opened the (Gallo) center, the Folsom Lake College people were visiting the Gallo Center. That was the first time I was contacted or even learned about this Folsom center,” he said. “Within a couple of months I contacted them, and now I’m here.” Currently, Pier is commuting from Modesto to Folsom but is looking for a house with his family. “I hate the drive, but other than that I really like the project and the people,” he said. “There is great energy and a great momentum on campus. They took the time to work on this experience and expand this project.” He said that two days after starting in Folsom, he flew back to New York for the Association of Performing Arts performers conference to search for new talent for the upcoming season. “We will have a variety of performances,” he said. “Because we have more venues within the building, we will have more room for local performing arts organizations.” A full line-up will be announced before the 2010 holiday season. He explained that the program will consist of three parts including academic for music, theater and visual arts, the regional art center to provide a home for regional organizations and the presentation of touring artists for local, national and world tours. The new building will include the 200-seat City Studio Theater, 847-seat main theater, 100-seat recital hall, flexible-use space, art gallery, recording studio, backstage spaces for training, rehearsal rooms and faculty and teaching spaces. For more information on the new building and the upcoming season, visit flc.losrios. edu/x3750.xml. * * * IN THE KNOW: Dave pier Favorite hobby: “I used to fly radio controlled model airplanes.” Interesting fact: “I hold two patents and co-authored over 20 papers related to my earlier work on solar energy thin-film solar cells, a new technology that is now positioned to be a potentially significant contributor to the drive toward clean, renewable energy sources.” Favorite movie: “‘Avatar.’ The whole scale of the project was phenomenal with all the new technologies.” Favorite music: Eclectic taste, but loves jazz Favorite book: “West of the West,” by Mark Arax Summer plans: “I’m moving.”