John Killacky

Commentator

John Killacky is the executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington.

Karen Pike

Forty years ago, when the Flynn was still a movie house, a group of music theater folks approached the then owner of the theatre, Merrill Jarvis. These entrepreneurs knew the Flynn was built in 1930 as both a film and vaudeville palace and they wanted to put on a show. Backstage, behind the movie screen, there were inches of dust on the stage equipment that had not been used for decades.
 

There's a tradition in the Vermont House of Representatives for someone to speak briefly at the start of every session with a few inspirational words. Today I had that honor and shared some lessons I’ve learned - for legislators’ amusement, and I hoped, edification. First I explained I'm the owner of a Shetland pony that I’ve trained to pull me in a cart. She’s boarded with thirty-three other horses at a stable in Williston.
 

Recently I participated on two funding panels: the National Endowment for the Arts for theater projects and a California foundation for commissioning new music. Artistic excellence was a key criterion on both panels.

Defining quality used to be easy, although taste was always a mitigating factor. Now in our multicultural society, it is more complex. No longer can we calibrate merit solely through a Eurocentric framework.

Killacky: On the Bit

Jul 29, 2013

With me holding the reins long and soft, my Shetland pony pulls me along in a cart. We work on cadence, trot, and turns. The arc of her neck and impulsion from her hindquarters are my focus.

Every summer, exuberance for the outdoors overtakes me. During the rest of the year, I’m an omnivore consuming performances, exhibitions, and movies in darkened spaces. Now I celebrate sun, sky, and even rain, with Vermont’s agricultural offerings.

Photo: Jonathan Butler

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