Carol Blazina, a former vice president of public affairs at the State University College, was elected president at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta on Monday, and said she will place emphasis on fundraising, children’s programs and reaching out to the community.
“I’m certainly honored by the trust and support of the board of directors,” Blazina said Thursday. Atop the agenda are goals are to maintain and continue Foothills growth financially and in performance presentations, she said, and the board has a recently formed a committee to develop children’s programming.
“We want to reach out and welcome everyone,’’ Blazina said.
Blazina succeeds Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller, who stepped in as president in December 2010 when Foothills was struggling with financial and leadership issues. Miller and Arnold Drogen will serve as vice presidents.
Foothills, on Market Street in Oneonta, has a 775-seat theater, an atrium, offices and production spaces that also serve as performance venues. The not-for-profit entertainment and civic center also is host to a variety of business meetings, conferences, weddings and other events.
Blazina said the center is a “very important’’ component in both the economic and cultural development of the community. In the past two years, Foothills has attracted major performers and programming, including this year’s presentations of the Metropolitan Opera’s broadcasts and Sunday’s performance by saxophonist Branford Marsalis, she said.
Blazina, who joined the board in 2010 has “been a very enthusiastic board member,’’ Miller said.
Foothills’ annual budget is about $360,000, Blazina said, and the center has three full-time and some part-time employees. The nonprofit organization is “basically financially sound,’’ she said, and is “working hard to diminish bank loans.”
“With the support from individuals, businesses, banks, foundations and community financial support, Foothills will continue to be the arts and civic center well into the future,’’ Blazina said in an email.
Miller, 70, said his decision to turn over the reins was tied to his age and other demands, including running for re-election this year.
“The other piece is, as mayor, I want to make it clear I’m supportive of FOTOT and the Oneonta Theatre,’’ Miller said.
The Friends of the Oneonta Theatre is working with the privately held historic venue at 47 Chestnut St., to raise money and secure programing and its future. Miller said it’s important that both theaters succeed.