Performing, Visual Arts Abound in Bowling Green

Whether it's music, theater or art, Bowling Green residents are committed to cultivating culture in their city.

On Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 10:59

Whether it’s music, theater or art, Bowling Green residents are committed to cultivating culture in their city. For a century, the Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra has been delighting audiences with concerts featuring works of the masters, pops and music geared to families. The BGWSO’s development is linked to the growth of the music department at Western Kentucky University, where it got its start. Today, the orchestra is a nonprofit corporation with musicians from both WKU and the surrounding area. A more recent addition to the music scene is the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra, formed in 2000 by Jeffrey A. Reed, music director and conductor.

The BGCO performs its regular series concerts at Living Hope Baptist Church, special event concerts at WKU and children’s Cushion Concerts at the L&N Depot. Reed – also music director and conductor of symphonies in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Charleston, S.C. – is known for putting together concerts that feature both classical and pop music, which has been popular with listeners. When the house lights dim, theatergoers are sure to see a top-notch production at Bowling Green venues. The Public Theatre of Kentucky, also a nonprofit organization, presents theater productions and hosts musical performances at the Phoenix Theatre and features the work of local artists in the lobby. Another Fountain Square historic venue is the Capitol Arts Theatre, originally known as the Columbia Theatre in the 1890s when it was a vaudeville house. The theater, which seats 800, is part of the Capitol Arts Alliance, a nonprofit committed to the arts and arts education. The alliance also operates the Houchens Gallery. Bowling Green is also home to the National Corvette Museum, Barren River Imaginative Museum of Science and Riverview at Hobson Grove, a home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kentucky Repertory Theatre is based in nearby Horse Cave and has been entertaining audiences for more than 30 years.