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Kim Vento Takes the Reins at the Broken Arrow PAC

By MEAGAN COLLINS
Contributing Writer

ARTS ENTHUSIAST: Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Executive Director Kim Vento stands in the building at 701 S. Main St. Vento took over for Mark Frie in June after Frie took the position of director for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.


MEAGAN COLLINS for GTR Newspapers


In June, Kim Vento replaced Mark Frie as executive director of the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.

While Vento is a Missouri native, her experience in the Broken Arrow school district is extensive, dating back 23 years.

After graduating from Missouri Western State University with degrees in business and managerial economics, she became a student information system specialist for Broken Arrow Public Schools in 1995.

However, her heart was with the arts, so she became the color guard instructor for the Pride of Broken Arrow marching band that same year.

“It’s theatre on the football field,” Vento says. She continued as the color guard instructor for 16 years.

Why would she want to stay in a city where none of her family or friends live? Vento says that it’s the people: “Broken Arrow is big, but it feels like a small hometown, which is what I like. My family still lives up North, but here, my friends have become family.”

From 2010 to 2014, she also worked as a technology project coordinator and assistant director of instructional technology integration before moving to the BAPAC, which is owned by the school district. For three years, she worked as the BAPAC events coordinator before becoming its executive director.

Mark Frie, its first director, brought many big names to the stage, such as Ben Folds, Liza Minnelli and, of course, Kristin Chenoweth.

Vento’s transition into her new role comes during a time of change for the BAPAC, with various construction projects taking place.

The last of a 2009 bond issue is being used to upgrade the box office and add a multi-purpose room, laundry facilities, and a large dressing room for star performers. The multi-purpose room will include additional dressing rooms, and the space will be available for business rentals or as a pre-stage area. Construction will be completed mid-fall.

On the docket for the BAPAC is a full spotlight season, which includes eight shows, Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Bootcamp next summer, and more opportunities for additional student music competitions.

“(The school district) supports the arts so much and so profoundly supports this theatre. It has made a huge impact in my life,” she says.

Vento was heavily involved in the arts in college: she danced, performed in community theatres, and played piano, clarinet and saxophone. While she plays her instruments recreationally now, she continues to teach and choreograph dance and color guard programs for public schools.

Vento views her legacy in the district to be the time she spent working with students in the Pride of Broken Arrow.

“The music side of me came out in a different way working with the kids, watching them flourish and become adults, and seeing their successes.”

Updated 09-11-2017

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