Howell assumed the duties as executive director on Feb. 1, having served as interim director since July 1, 2012.
"We are pleased that Laura has agreed to accept this responsibility,” said Associate Vice President Dr. Myrtis Tabb. “In the short time Laura has worked for the BPAC, first as Arts Education Coordinator, and then as Interim Executive Director, she has shown the ability to develop strong professional relationships with regional organizations.
"She has been responsible for securing numerous grants for the Center and was a key person in bringing the Kennedy Center Partnership to the Center. I look forward to working with her in the future to continue the excellent work at the BPAC.”
“I am excited to become the executive director at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The creative endeavors of Delta State University and the Bologna are a special part of the Delta, a region that has come to mean a great deal to me,” said Howell.
“Our team has experienced a great many successes over the past season, including a renewed sense of optimism and community engagement in the Bologna that has refreshed our center’s vision and mission. There remain a great deal of opportunities and accomplishments that the Bologna Performing Arts Center can pursue and achieve.
"I look forward to the future as our team envisions how the Bologna can continue to serve the residents of the Delta as the best regional performing arts center.”
A native of North Carolina, Howell came to the Mississippi Delta as a Teach for America Corp member.
She taught in the Indianola School District before joining the BPAC.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and will complete a master’s degree from Delta State University in May.
"I have watched Laura as interim take command of BPAC's complex operations with amazing quickness and skill. She is a truly remarkable young lady who will continue to take BPAC to new heights as its permanent director," said BPAC Advisory Board Member Marian Alexander of Greenville.
Frank Melton, chair of the Crosstie Arts Council and a member of the interview team said, "Laura Howell is the perfect choice as executive director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. She has an incredible ability to engage people. I foresee her doing great things to expand the offerings of the BPAC throughout our community."
Delta State Vice-President for Student Affairs and BPAC Advisory Board member Dr. Wayne Blansett said, “Laura Howell is a professional and has done a great job as our interim executive director. We have not missed a beat as she has led us through this interim period.
"Laura has been an excellent addition to the Delta State family and the University looks forward to a long successful journey with her as the Executive Director of the BPAC.”
“Laura brings tremendous enthusiasm, great passion for the goals of the Bologna Performing Arts Center and a love of the Mississippi Delta. She performed extraordinary work coordinating and growing the BPAC’s Summer Arts Program, and I am convinced she will bring that same superb, creative management style to her new duties as executive director. She is the right person at the right time for this important position,” said long-time board member Jon Levingston.
The Bologna Performing Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary facility, opened its doors Sept. 1, 1995.
The center houses the 1,178 seat Delta & Pine Land Theater and the 135 seat Recital Hall.
The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University has earned recognition as one of the premier houses for entertainment and arts in Mississippi and the Southeast.
Just recently, the BPAC earned top honors as The Best Performing Arts Venue in Mississippi, as voted on by the readers of Mississippi Magazine.
The state-of-the-art facility was built in 1994 through state funding from the Mississippi legislature, offering a rich tapestry of cultural and educational programs to serve the entire Mississippi Delta. The center attracts quality programming, superb artists and powerful performances to enrich, entertain and strengthen our Delta community.
In addition, the Bologna Center has demonstrated its commitment to arts education and developed the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute, which provides a comprehensive training program in all arts disciplines.
For more information, visit the Bologna Performing Arts Center web site at www.bolognapac.com.