Following a nationwide search, Estes Performance, Inc., (EPIC) has hired Al Milano as the executive director and director of development for the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center. Milano, whose entire professional career has focused on leading arts organizations and running successful capital campaigns, assumed his new responsibilities in Estes Park at the end of January.
“We’re thrilled to add Al to our team,” said Stan Black, EPIC’s board president. “He has a track record of raising more than $1.7 billion dollars and has been responsible for building five performing arts centers, from the first dollar up. And besides being a ‘fundraiser’s fundraiser,’ he understands every aspect of running a dynamic and financially sound theater organization.”
Milano most recently served as executive vice president of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX. He said he was attracted to the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center project for both personal and professional reasons.
“This project has so much going for it,” Milano said. “Everything from supporting revenue from the adjacent commercial property to the prime downtown location. But what was really enticing was the opportunity to be involved at an early stage, long before the doors open. It’s important to understand what this center needs to be for the community, and ensure this vision is carried through in everything from the building design to the programming.”
Milano said in addition to the professional challenge, he was drawn to Estes Park because of the beautiful setting and to be close to family members who live nearby.
The new executive director’s first order of business is to listen and learn.
“I’ve had very interesting conversations with leaders in the arts community. I’ve heard about unique challenges putting on shows in a resort community, especially the critical shortage of rehearsal space.”
Milano said in the coming weeks, he will seek out many more opportunities to speak with business and community leaders, performing artists, and arts lovers.
Stan Black commended the community’s support for the project momentum and achieving the milestone of engaging a world-class arts center leader.
“Many people have dreamed this dream with us, and donated to earlier theater projects,” Black said. “The FOSH funds that were released to us last spring, along with revenue from leasing the future building location to The Barrel, have provided the seed money for the major capital campaign that is soon to come.”
The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center will be a state-of-the-art theater and concert hall that will serve as a home for Estes Park’s diverse performing artists as well as other artists and acts from Colorado and throughout the United States. Construction is expected to begin sometime next year.
In addition to offering exciting entertainment, “the Rocky” is expected to be the largest single economic development project in Estes Park in more than 25 years, creating jobs, generating new sales tax revenues, revitalizing downtown, and increasing business for neighboring commercial properties.