Atlanta Venue Names Riggs MD

Galleria arts center to open in 2007.

Veteran venue-operations professional Wendy Riggs is in place as managing director of the planned Galleria Performing Arts Center, set to open in March 2007 in Atlanta.

Riggs, who started her new position Aug. 2, comes to the $96 million Galleria PAC from Atlanta's venerable Fox Theatre, where she was assistant GM under Edgar Neiss.

The Galleria PAC will be owned and managed by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which also runs the Cobb Galleria Centre. Like the Centre, the PAC will be overseen by GM Michele Swann. Ground will break on the PAC later this year at a site about one-quarter mile from the Centre.

The main theater of the new PAC will seat 2,750, Swann tells Facilitating the overall design of the Galleria's Performing Arts Center project is Atlanta design firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates. Design consultants include Theatre Projects Consultants, Kirkegaard Associates and Boner Associates LLC.

"It will be drop-dead beautiful, but also functional," says Swann. Other attributes include on-site parking for 1,500, state-of-the-art acoustics, a 10,000 square-foot ballroom and an ornate lobby.

Riggs will be responsible for identifying, coordinating and managing all promotions and artistic programming for the facility as well as overseeing, directing and managing all physical and operational aspects of the building.

The Galleria PAC will be a "multipurpose road house," Swann says. "We have no resident company, but we're planning on visiting performances from the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera, as well as lots of concerts and hopefully an ongoing Broadway series."

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