BAY HARBOR — The Great Lakes Center for the Arts, a performing arts venue under development in Bay Harbor, recently announced its hiring of Beth Anne Eckerle as marketing director.
Eckerle, of Petoskey, brings a background in graphic design, writing, photography, social media and online management to the position, having worked most recently as director of communications and Web development for Emmet County. She will begin her new role with Great Lakes Center for the Arts on Feb. 13.
“We are building anticipation and excitement in the region and in the state for the center’s grand opening in just 18 months. Beth Anne will join us in shaping the center’s messaging and branding, and promoting the exceptional programming that we will offer,” said Jill O’Neill, the center’s executive director.
With a mission to serve as a cultural and social hub for Northern Michigan, the non-profit Great Lakes Center for the Arts will inspire, entertain and educate with year-round programming across all genres — theater, music, dance, intellectual dialogue and education.
Those passing by the entrance to Bay Harbor on US-31 can see the structure rising along the shoreline. It will house a 500 seat theater, community engagement room for education and receptions, a rooftop deck overlooking Lake Michigan, and a donor lounge.
Looking to the future, the grand opening gala is scheduled for July 2018. Programming is now being planned for summer 2018 and will be announced summer 2017.
Prior to her seven-year stint with Emmet County, Eckerle was an editor, reporter and photographer for various media outlets in Michigan, including The Ann Arbor News, Jackson Citizen-Patriot and the Petoskey News-Review. She is a 1995 University of Michigan graduate and mother of twin sons, Drew and Evan Piehl, age 11.
“I look forward to hitting the ground running at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts and to joining this talented team,” said Eckerle. “It is an exciting opportunity for me to be part of such an anticipated and respected project in our community.
“The chance to work with Jill, Maris and the (board of directors) to bring this spectacular venue to life is a chance to contribute to the beautiful cultural fabric of Michigan. We all look forward to welcoming friends, neighbors and newcomers to the center at its grand opening in 2018.”