New executive director appointed at Foothills

·2 min read

Aug. 30—The Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta has a new executive director.

Geoffrey Doyle was recently appointed to the position after working at Foothills since February 2007. He started as a part-time assistant, he said.

"I pretty much learned everything I know now about Foothills over the years and I was recently appointed executive director in July by the Foothills Performing Arts Center Board," Doyle said.

With the help of recent SUNY Oneonta graduate and intern, Simon LaGarry, Doyle said he has plans to "diversify events and performances."

"Simon has been a big help in getting us connected with the local college students and bands. It's really nice to have someone with new ideas and someone who has relations with the college kids," Doyle said.

According to Doyle, Foothills has always had connections with the college, "We always had music industry and communications interns like Simon, come and help us out and we are always working on making a broader appeal to the college crowd," he said.

Recently, Doyle has been collaborating with M.E.B. Records for hip-hop performances and is working with them to build a larger hip-hop scene in Oneonta.

"We are mostly known for having events such as wedding expos, private parties and meetings, stand up comedy shows, kids performances and theatre performances. We have great versatility in space and I am striving for every week to have something a little different," Doyle said.

After the lessening of COVID-19 regulations, Doyle's goal is to make Foothills a more popular hub for the arts and music.

"Streaming was a nice addition for us for COVID-19, but we were all missing the desire for human interaction and to be in an area with multiple people experiencing a shared moment," Doyle said. "My big goal is to change the fact that Foothills is an unknown part of town. There's a lot more than what you see on our website and it's a small glimpse of what's really going on," he said.

With that goal in mind, Doyle has worked on investing money into improvements for Foothills. A recent improvement he has made is with the lighting system in the main performance stage.

"I am currently investing around $300,000 into new state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment as well a improved acoustics for the main stage. We received foundation grants and donations from local and anonymous donors for the improvements. In particular, the Bettiol family is a huge contributor to our infrastructure funding," Doyle said.

Doyle said he is seeking to turn Foothills from a "underutilized" venue to a diverse and popular space for entertainment and meetings. According to Doyle, lighting and sound improvements should be finished by the end of the year.

Alexis Ochi, staff writer, can be reached at aochi@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213.