To the Editor:
When I was offered a position at Kansas State University many years ago, one thing on the negative side of the ledger was having to give up certain “quality of life” items that Kan-sas City provided. Prominent in that category was entertainment. If a person wasn’t into going to a bar, Manhattan’s options were mighty few. But the teaching position was attractive and there was nothing to keep me from moving on if I wasn’t happy.
One of the few bright spots on the entertainment front in Man-hattan were shows at McCain Auditorium. There was the university orchestra and two, maybe three times a year, traveling shows would be brought in that provided some hint of what was available in metropolitan areas. And, of course, when I didn’t mind the drive, Kansas City wasn’t that far. Though rare, even Wichita oc-casionally provided some world-class entertainment.
But before Mr. Todd Holmberg was hired as executive director of McCain Auditorium, I just assumed that with the compara-tively small market Manhattan represented, that was as good as it was going to be.
How wrong I was!
Since Holmberg’s arrival, the offerings at McCain have become better and more frequent every year. I used to regularly scan the Kansas City Star for potential shows to attend, but no more. In a couple of weeks, the family will actually be attending two such performances in one week. This week, with university presen-tations included, we’ll spend three evenings at shows in McCain. Yes, we still will make an occasional trip to Kansas City for some exposition at Union Station, but they now are just add-ons to what we have available here in Manhattan.
Cities are always looking for things they can point to in an effort to lure visitors. Companies trying to hire the best people want to emphasize the advant-ages of their small town while escaping the less-appealing aspects of the big city. To my family and me, the entertain-ment available at McCain Auditorium is one of the very positive things Manhattan has to offer.
And from my perspective, Mr. Holmberg deserves a significant chunk of the credit for this being the case.