Heidi Schiller, longtime arts & programs manager for City of Fairfield, is a champion of the arts. For more than a decade, she’s been committed serving the Fairfield community. One of the things she enjoys about her role is seeing residents enjoy a vibrant arts culture right in their own backyard.
We talked with Heidi to find what she’s been working on, and what’s ahead for the 2017-18 Performing Arts Season at the Fairfield Community Arts Center — a season that will feature four distinct series, highlighting the best in music, comedy, theater and entertainment.
Q: What do you do on a daily basis? What do you love the most about your job?
A: I see my role as one of a facilitator. Every day, I work with patrons and clients to help them have the best experience the Arts Center can offer. Their personal event may involve performing on stage or planning a wedding, participating in their first art show or taking that first dance class. The experiences and services we offer through the Arts Center enable our guests to have their one-of-a-kind moment.
Q: In your role, what do you consider as some of your biggest accomplishments to date?
A: The Arts Center was built to create community connections, whether through art or leisure. Every day, the staff strives to provide the means for those connections. I work with a terrific team of people who are enthusiastic about the services we offer. Everyone is committed to our mission and cares about the Fairfield community.
Q: What are some of the things you enjoy when you’re not at work?
A: After years of commuting from Miamisburg, I moved to Fairfield about two years ago and purchased a 1909 folk-Victorian home. I love living in Fairfield, and I’m slowly discovering the joys and pains of gardening.
Q: Do you have a little-known talent or fact about you that you can share?
A: I suppose my dark secret is that I enjoy video games. Although, perhaps it’s not so surprising, given the immersive and theatrical nature of some of the games I play.
Q: What’s the most personally satisfying aspect of being able to work with arts in the Fairfield Community?
A: Providing the space and opportunities for our patrons to discover their own hidden talents and to connect with others who share their passion.
Q: How do you feel the arts benefit the community?
A: Arts, recreation, and leisure are important building blocks for a healthy community. Our residents enjoy a vibrant arts culture in their own backyard. The local businesses enjoy an increase in their revenue whenever our patrons stop for a bite to eat before a show or fill the tank before heading home. The arts provide a means to balance both individual growth and community partnerships. We are lucky to be able to work with our local partners, including the YMCA, the Fairfield Lane Library, Mercy Hospital Fairfield, Fairfield Footlighters, Miami Valley Ballet and many others.
Q: What goes into getting ready for a season and what would you hope to bring to the community with each new season?
A: Planning for the season begins well over a year before the first show opens. From attending local and regional booking conferences, to listening to tons of CDs, watching YouTube videos, scanning the various artists’ sites and soliciting feedback from our patrons, we are always seeking artists that strike the right note with our audiences. Whether it’s through music or dance or comedy, audiences want the artists to take them on a journey. So, I’m always looking for a good story, a complete package.
Q: Can you touch on some of the highlights of the upcoming Performing Arts season?
A: Obviously, (songwriter and performer) Jimmy Webb (Jan. 27) will be a huge draw, especially with the recent passing of Glen Campbell. I love the entire lineup of this season’s One Stage Series, from the a capella strength of Cadence (Oct. 7), to Mari Black’s fiddle-virtuosity (Feb. 10), and the sheer fun and country-rockabilly of The Malpass Brothers (March 10).
Q: Why would you encourage the community to come out to some of the performances?
A: The beauty of live performance is the shared experience. These are shows that are meant to be experienced with family and friends. It may be trite to say so, but the Arts Center truly offers something for everyone, whether youth, teen, adult or senior.
Q: Is there a show you’re most looking forward to and why?
A: I’m excited to see Johnny Peers & the Muttville Comix (Nov. 3). I mean, how can you not be excited about a circus-style show with over a dozen rescue dogs?
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