The Lensic Performing Arts Center announced big changes recently including that it named a new executive director. Joel Aalberts, who leaves his job as ED of Eastern Kentucky University's Center For the Arts, will become only the second such administrator in Lensic history when Robert Martin steps down at the end of next month. He's an interesting dude, that's for sure, and he comes with some extra Santa Fe knowledge. Behold—3 Questions!
In addition to your administrative work, we hear you're also a performer?
I have done lots of performing in my life, and I do hope to get back to more of that in the future. In high school and college I was in show choirs and, in going to university, I think I spent about as much time with music things as I did with my studies.
You also have a Santa Fe connection?
My wife was born there and lived in Santa Fe the first eight years of her life. We still have many family friends there. It's exciting to move to a place where ... we know people there, and there's the appreciation for [Santa Fe's] mountains and the high desert feel. There's a beauty and a comfort and it's nice to come into it that way, knowing people and kind of knowing the community already.
What do you see for the future of the Lensic?
I'm really excited about this space and the art-mindedness of this community. This time for me is to get immersed in the Santa Fe community and to look for things that can fit in that space well. For me, the variety of arts presented at the Lensic is what drew me. Here is a place where the arts are done well, where the audiences will try new things. The other important piece for me is the education part and how we can go about doing things for and bringing in that next generation.