This Episode was brought to you by
Brian Gamel, Managing Director of Woodstock Arts
Brian grew up in the Woodstock area and has loved this town ever since. After going off to get his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Florida State University he came back home and became a part of the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village’s team, now known as Woodstock Arts.
Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:23] Welcome to Cherokee Business Radio Stone Payton here with you this morning. And this is our special monthly Woodstock art segment for which we were all very well prepared and ready to go this morning. Poor Brian, of course. We have with us Brian Gamel with Woodstock Arts. And he was sitting here waiting at the studio for me. And I got here a little bit late. But we’re here now.
Brian Gamel: [00:00:45] We’re all here now.
Stone Payton: [00:00:46] And I was actually right there at the green a little while ago. I stopped by the little alma container there in the backyard of Reformation, had me a little green tea I was sipping. I noticed we’ve got the tin up so we’ve got stuff happening soon I suspect.
Brian Gamel: [00:01:02] Yeah, yeah, we have, we have a lot of stuff going on. It’s the summer months, so the green’s in full swing. We got stuff going on at the Reeves house and summer camps aren’t. So if you had kids that were interested in it. I am so sorry. I believe we still have some some availability for a visual art camp, but theater camp has been full, I think, since April.
Stone Payton: [00:01:19] So no, that is fantastic.
Brian Gamel: [00:01:22] It’s a great problem to have. Yeah. So for those of you who are like, dang, I missed it, go ahead and mark your calendars for March 1st of next year to sign your kids up. Because in early, yeah, that is the only way to get a spot. But we have three camps running out of time for camps running out of time right now, every week in there, week long. So that’s a lot of fun. But yeah, we have a concert coming up as part of the Lantern series this Saturday. It’s Paul O’Brien. He is a Haitian blues artist, so ended up being one of those with COVID having to find someone to replace last minute. But honestly, he should have been on our radar from the beginning. Fantastic musician and once again bringing that mission of talking about different cultures and creating conversation, but also making it accessible with something like blues, you know. So we’re super excited to have that on the green this Saturday. And then if you do have the kids that you just need something to do with them on a Wednesday morning or a Saturday Sunday afternoon. We have orphaned the Book of Heroes this month, which is a brand new play that’s about it’s kind of Greek mythology based. So I think the fun that you had watching Hercules with Disney, but a completely different and new story. And then next month we have James and the Giant Peach, the classic.
Stone Payton: [00:02:31] Oh, yeah. Everybody loves that, right?
Brian Gamel: [00:02:33] Yeah. It’s it’s a fantastic show. We have a great group working on it and we’re bringing back our sensory friendly programing. So if you or someone you know has some difficulty with flashing lights or loud sounds or anything like that sensory overload, we have that as well. You can find that on our website, but we’re bringing that back in full swing this year. So we’re super excited to be able to offer that accessible programing to our community because we know our community really gets behind that and we want to do that as well.
Stone Payton: [00:03:01] You guys are doing so much. I was just there yesterday evening. My wife, Holly, teaches a watercolor class and she is just so fulfilled doing that and meeting so many just wonderful people. And I mean, you guys are thriving. Just stuff going on there every day. Oh, I got there a little bit before class was over and there was a there was the the bar cart parked out there and there was a cornhole something, a tournament league, something going on.
Brian Gamel: [00:03:27] Yeah, cornhole was always happening up there we are. We are about to have the giant LED screen permanently installed out there. So if you saw Family Night last month with Star Wars out on the green, we had the movie that was that one was just a quick, quick fix because as everyone knows, shortages and delays on shipments and those very lovely things. We are we were dealing with the same thing, but we are installing that new screen for next Thursday and then it’ll just be out there. So we’ll be able to pump out a lot more movies talking about doing an indie film festival next year, nice sporting events. So if you’re hankering for a place to watch championship Saturday this December, you know, we might we might have a SEC championship watch party or something along those lines. So we’ll have to we’ll have to see where the year takes us. But we’re super excited to have that, to be able to open up that programing.
Stone Payton: [00:04:17] I love it. And at these events often there’s a beer or a wine card or something like that. And so the at the the Lannan Series, you can, you can bring your own food, but please get your beer and wine there. But there’s a marvelous selection and you can have a nice little picnic and all that stuff.
Brian Gamel: [00:04:37] Yeah, we actually really encourage people to bring their own food, make it into a whole thing. We have a table decorating contest, so when you purchase a table, right, you can win a table for the next one. It’s a, you know, north of $120 value most of the time that all you have to do is really decorate and go all out and you can win $120 worth of an experience. So.
Stone Payton: [00:04:56] And good luck competing with the black airplane folks, right?
Brian Gamel: [00:05:00] Yeah. Yeah. They they like to think that they’re the best decorated, but just. They’re just the loudest.
Stone Payton: [00:05:05] Yeah, they’re definitely the loudest. You’re not going to beat them on that front.
Brian Gamel: [00:05:07] I’m sporting their socks today just. Just for that reason. But yeah, I know they are, they are presenting partner and it is also sponsorship renewal season. So we’re talking to all of our sponsors and making sure they want to stick around for the next year. But also if you’re interested in. Sponsoring our season goes August through July so that that kicks off right about now. So go ahead and reach out through our website or any of our social media. Those are all at Woodstock gay I believe but the websites Woodstock arts dot org.
Stone Payton: [00:05:35] So and you’ve got sponsorship kind of built into a menu but you guys can get very creative too if if you’ve got an idea or some different ways you want to bundle some stuff. I mean, you’re talking about some open ears and some very creative people for sure.
Brian Gamel: [00:05:48] And, you know, the basic is almost every place has or almost every segment of the organization has kind of a bronze level and then kind of a gold level or I’m sorry, silver level, gold level. And then presenting. Obviously, they work their way up in price from that point. Sure. But you know, the different benefits you get, we we recently, I believe, you know, Chris Van Zandt, he recently signed on as our presenting partner for the theater for next season. And he started doing the math and went, wait, this is this is a great deal. I’m getting a lot of perks for this and just getting to throw my business name up for every theater show where, you know, you guys have thousands of people coming in throughout the year. So it’s it is a fantastic, fantastic deal. And we want to make sure that you get the best experience out of it as a business owner.
Stone Payton: [00:06:32] So so right now, I suspect you’re heads down managing all of this and not out on the road finding new acts and entertainment for us. So what is your cycle? You’re you’ll do that in the fall or something like that.
Brian Gamel: [00:06:44] Yeah, that’s closer to the fall and winter. We try to solidify everything by early of whatever the calendar year is so that we can announce it. I will go ahead and say we’re we’ve I think almost have the calendar for next season completely finalized with all programing, which is crazy that it took us this long to do it. But the organization’s grown so much. Right. So we I can tell you right now, go ahead and mark your calendars for about April 15th of 2023 through the end of May. We will always have at least three things going on. There’s going to be a gala on my first wedding anniversary. There’s right. There’s concerts, there’s theater shows. We have more theater shows than we’ve ever had coming up next year. And a lot of great gallery exhibits, including we have one it’s technically going to enter next season, but we have one opening up. I believe it’s the it’s the Thursday, so it’s the 23rd of this month. So June 23rd, it’s a it’s a competition show where people from all across the state have submitted work and they’re going to be ranked and judged and there’s prizes and that whole thing. So we’ll be bringing that back next season. Okay. But we’re going to expand it to the entire southeast. So wow. And we’ll be bringing back favorites like small town small works where artists that live a certain distance from Woodstock doing pieces that are a certain size that make it affordable for you to find things over the holiday. So we’re super excited to bring that back as well.
Stone Payton: [00:08:09] So this installation coming up, is it a certain type of medium or is it different media?
Brian Gamel: [00:08:14] It’s different media entirely. I, I believe we mostly have to DH work. There could be a couple of sculptures and things in there, right. But yeah, so it is mostly 2D work from my understanding. Granted, Nicole has been curating all that artwork, so I might get back to the office and say, Hey, what were you talking about there? It’s all 3D, Brian. But she has some cool exhibits coming up next year, including she’s been working with the city on a public art project that should happen in the next couple of months or so. It might be even sooner just trying to get all the pieces out onto our property as well as a couple of other places. And I think we’re trying to get a mural up there. If you’re familiar with the green, the shipping container that’s sitting on top of the restroom. Shipping containers. Yeah, yeah. There’s going to be a mural there. That’s always been the plan. Just trying to find the right artist to to share the vision.
Stone Payton: [00:09:01] But yeah, one of the things I remember about those shipping containers is Holly and I were just moving to town. There was like that reveal night and everybody was very excited about the programing, but they were particularly excited about the restroom containers that got the biggest.
Brian Gamel: [00:09:14] Applause, you know, over over covet having to transition so much outside. And then people got really used to porta potties and no one likes getting used to porta potties. So especially, you know, with the farmer’s market and all of those things going on, they would have just rows of them and it’s really hard to sell your veggies next to porta potties. So right. Having those permanent restrooms that don’t smell.
Stone Payton: [00:09:36] The same way those.
Brian Gamel: [00:09:37] Other ones did, I think I think we were all really excited for that. It’s kind of funny. All of the capital projects, you know, getting the kitchen or done our pottery studio that still has classes going on, getting the Reaves house, the playground, the the restrooms, all of that happen as soon as we couldn’t be doing any programing. But now everything’s happening all at once again. So it’s it’s a nice it was almost like we had a little bit of a programing break to build everything. And then once everyone’s come back, hey, let’s just do all of it at once.
Stone Payton: [00:10:08] So the universe was conspiring to help you? Yeah.
Brian Gamel: [00:10:12] Something like.
Stone Payton: [00:10:13] That. One of the most heartwarming things for me as a local resident and just walking around is to walk by the playground and. Hear the kids laughing and see the couples now. All the couples to me, your kids now, they all look so young. But to see the young families and playing and they’ll, you know, they’ll be sitting there with a with a beer or a wine or a tea or something watching the kids play. I love that. And one of the things that Holly really enjoyed during this past season at the Reeves house was art created by younger people. She really enjoyed that.
Brian Gamel: [00:10:49] Yeah, we had a youth exhibit this past, I believe it was around January. Yeah. And the kids did great work. There was this huge there were some pieces where I was like, I couldn’t I could never imagine. And I looked down and it was a first grader who did it.
Stone Payton: [00:11:02] So I don’t you know.
Brian Gamel: [00:11:05] It was a little bit of, oh, man, I need to reevaluate my visual art skills, I guess, but also like the talent that we’re in these kids, it was it was just phenomenal. Yeah, we we yeah. It was a great fun year. The house is officially over a year old, so congrats to.
Stone Payton: [00:11:19] Okay.
Brian Gamel: [00:11:19] Yeah, that happened I believe last month. We we hit our one year mark. So a lot a lot has happened in just a year.
Stone Payton: [00:11:27] So we should definitely have a standing anniversary type event for that and we should have a standing Gammel anniversary event, right?
Brian Gamel: [00:11:36] Oh yeah, for sure. It’s funny, I kept joking with my wife as we were looking and slowly things are filling up the calendar. I was like, Hey, are you going to be okay if the gal is on her first year or wedding anniversary and she’s like, Yeah, we can just pretend it’s a big party for us, right? You know, the Big Ten music, you know, the normal things you have for your first anniversary, 600 of your closest friends, something like that.
Stone Payton: [00:11:59] But and so in my mind, from my vantage point, you guys, you and your wife, you have like this utopian lifestyle because she’s at the pie bar, right?
Brian Gamel: [00:12:08] Yeah, she’s the GM of Pie Bar. So she’s working at both the Marietta and Woodstock locations.
Stone Payton: [00:12:13] And then you are neck deep into Woodstock art scene. I mean, it just I’m sure there’s work involved, but it just looks like such a fun, fulfilling lifestyle.
Brian Gamel: [00:12:22] Yeah, we both really enjoy what we do and this community and it’s a lot of fun to see people come from all over the place and to Woodstock. And it’s like you said, there’s a lot of young families and it’s we’re we’re in a really weird place for an arts organization, too, because, you know, we’ll we’ll go to these meetings with the presenters I think I’ve talked to you about in the past. But for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a group of the venues that present music acts throughout the state. So we all go and meet and a lot of times they’ll talk about, Man, we just want a younger audience, we want a younger audience, we want a younger we can have a young audience and that’s really cool. You know, our that means that our audience is going to grow with us in a sense, right? So but we are we are in a weird place for an arts center where most the average age of a of a patron for most places is probably in the sixties. The seventies, yeah. Are just probably squarely in the forties, you know. So we have a nice young group, but we also have classic Woodstock supporting us as well. So it’s, it’s a nice place to be at.
Stone Payton: [00:13:18] So the theater schedule, like what’s the name of it again?
Brian Gamel: [00:13:21] Orfeo Orfeo in the Book of Heroes. So Orpheus.
Stone Payton: [00:13:25] And there’s several. There’s several of them happening. You can catch them. There’s several appearances.
Brian Gamel: [00:13:31] Yeah. So for our summer shows, because they’re more geared towards kids right now, which look at next season because there’s some adult programing over the summer next season. But for this season, we we will be having both Aubrey and James on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and then Wednesday mornings at 10:00. Our summer camps are there, so they get to see the show. But also we know parents still work over the summer. Sometimes grandparents are taking care of the kids. And what better way to give them something to do than to come to a show at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday and get them all geared up and get to see some fun and exciting theater live.
Stone Payton: [00:14:07] And in the theaters right there behind the chambers building or part of the Chambers Building where we go and listen to the local leaders tell us what’s going on.
Brian Gamel: [00:14:16] Yeah, if you if you’re familiar with where route stock is that right there, the corner of town Lake Parkway in Maine.
Stone Payton: [00:14:22] It’s my second lily pad, right walking to town. My first one is IPS. Right? Believe me, I know where it’s going.
Brian Gamel: [00:14:28] Yeah. So you just, you know, if you if you drive into town, you park in that giant parking lot and go, man, that building looks like a church. It used to be, but now it’s a theater and still is on Sundays. But we we have our theater programing in there as well, as well as most of our offices.
Stone Payton: [00:14:42] Right. Right. All right. So what do you think people should be thinking about and doing to get ready for the balance of the season? They should they should go to the website. Yeah, that’s the easiest place to kind of get your ducks in a row, right?
Brian Gamel: [00:14:58] For sure. And right now, we have a lot of fun coming up next year, including a lot a lot of our patrons have been really excited for. Croce plays Croce as part of the Lanford series. So if you’re familiar with Time and a Bottle and Jim Croce and his son A.J., actually it’s this beautiful. I actually was in tears when I saw it live, this beautiful love letter to his father and the relationship that they were able to have for the few years that he was alive while. Right. A.j. was growing up. But it’s it’s talking about the stories. And you get to see now that we have that big LED screen, you can see some film footage of him like old family photos and videos of it’s it’s it’s heartwarming. And we have a lot of people really excited for it. Well, that is part of next season, which doesn’t go on sale to the general public until July 30 or July 1st, unless you get a subscription, which you can get a subscription right now, if you head over to our website, just look for that information. But we will also be getting a new ticketing system July 1st. Yes. So it’ll be more integrated to our website than ever before. If you’re familiar with the theater, we’re actually going to do some reserve seating in there as well so that you don’t have to show up for your spotlight. Kids show at 4 p.m. for 730, go to to make sure you have the perfect seat. You can just go ahead and purchase those seats in advance. And if you get a theater subscription, you get the premiere seating for cheaper than the back of the house seating.
Stone Payton: [00:16:20] So there’s a pro tip.
Brian Gamel: [00:16:22] Yeah. Honestly, subscriptions for no other reason than just you get your spot and it’s the cheapest option available. It’s fantastic. And you already have something planned and can invite friends and it’s, it’s a whole fun time. But yeah, that new ticketing system we’re very much looking forward to, we’ll be able to scan in tickets, you know, do all those fantastic things that you will come to expect from theaters these days. But we just haven’t been able to up to this point. But now we’re super excited to work with them and. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:16:50] All right. So before we wrap, let’s talk a little bit about community involvement. Surely there’s plenty of opportunity to volunteer. We touched on business sponsorship a little while ago, but there’s there’s ample opportunity. If you want to get involved and support this effort, there’s always plenty to be done.
Brian Gamel: [00:17:05] Yes. Yeah, for sure. We we are a volunteer run organization. We always have been. We always will be. It’s important for us to be involved with the community as a nonprofit. There’s no there’s no reason to not be right. This is a fantastic community that wants to be involved in the arts. So why why not embrace that?
Stone Payton: [00:17:21] Sure.
Brian Gamel: [00:17:22] So whether you’re looking to be involved as someone who hands out programs, if you want to show up to one of these city functions at a table and just talk about what we do, because you’re just so energized about it. Right? If you want to help hang a gallery exhibit, if you want to see a concert for free, but toss out some beers as well, like you know those. And if you want to design some lights, some costumes, some scenic work, any of that, you can once again, you can do that through our website. You can get that information. But Camille are volunteer and event manager is is now on full time so. Oh really. Yeah we are super excited to be able to bring her on full time because that means more attention given to our volunteers and more opportunities. So we are trying to grow that program and as well as just grow some appreciation to have some of those events. We did a visionary only paint and sip, which visionaries are what we call our volunteers side now. But we had a visionary only paint and sip, so they had the opportunity to have a discounted paint and sip class together and just hang out and get to know each other. So we’re really building a little micro community here in the. Greater Woodstock community.
Stone Payton: [00:18:28] That was another thing I thoroughly have enjoyed is the art on the spot where you can visit with the artists while they’re doing their thing, and often they’ll have a couple of little examples. I mean, you guys, you have such a marvelous variety. You know, it’s not all it’s not all one thing. You guys you guys rock.
Brian Gamel: [00:18:45] Yeah, we we stay busy over there. I’ll I’ll tell you I’ll tell you what we like. I said, we’ve been playing with the calendar. We have these giant blown up month by month calendars and everyone wrote in a different color to make sure you know what was what. And I don’t know if we have less than 700 events coming up next year. So wow, it if you’re looking for something to do, we’ll always have it.
Stone Payton: [00:19:05] All right. So let’s leave everybody with the right coordinates. The main thing is the website right now, that’s the best thing.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:10] 1,000%, 1,000%. The website is the best place to get your information. Libby, our marketing manager, has also done a great job across Facebook and Instagram as well.
Stone Payton: [00:19:18] So email.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:19] And email. Oh, yeah. She’s she’s she’s a rock star on email. But if you’re looking for that thing when you’re just scrolling around, yeah, Facebook and Instagram are a great place to visit too.
Stone Payton: [00:19:28] Okay, so the website is.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:30] Woodstock Arts dot.
Stone Payton: [00:19:31] Org. Well, that’s easy enough.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:32] Yep. Keep it simple and clean.
Stone Payton: [00:19:33] Yeah. Tap into the Facebook and Instagram and and enjoy that and use it to inform inform your plans, but also to share with your with the people that you know.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:43] Yeah, of course. We obviously always want to grow this community and we we we love to bring new people in and share some new ideas and, you know, do all those lovely things.
Stone Payton: [00:19:54] Yeah, well, keep up the good work, man. And thanks for coming by and visiting, even if your producer shows up a little later.
Brian Gamel: [00:19:59] Hey, man, thanks for getting out of bed for me.
Stone Payton: [00:20:02] Happy to do it. All right. This is Stone Payton for Brian Gamble in Woodstock Arts and everyone here at the Business RadioX family. We’ll see you next time on Cherokee Business Radio.