Lyric Theatre Looks For Direction

Jan 9, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Two years on from the Lyric Theatre’s grand reopening, the effort to revive the cultural arts center is proving more challenging than expected.

When the long-shuttered theatre reopened to great fanfare in October, residents saw a chance to create a new community-driven performance venue, but city officials are admitting that its potential remains unfulfilled. Executive director Yetta Young left her post at the end of 2012 and some community representatives, such as Patrice Muhammad with the Historic East End Community Association, say the city ordinance governing the Lyric puts too much focus on sales.

"The ordinance makes the Lyric as if it is some type of money-making, business venture and that's not the concept that was originally put forth to the community," Muhammad says.

Programming has been sparse at times and East End residents have complained about high rental rates.

1st District councilman and Lyric board chairman Chris Ford told the Lexington Herald-Leader the Lyric is “quite a ways away operationally” from where it should be and more efforts to extend community outreach will come as the board searches for a new executive director.