Rocky Mount hires Kirk Avenue Music Hall leader for performance - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Rocky Mount hires Kirk Avenue Music Hall leader for performance center

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Left: Matt Hankins, Right: Gary Jackson; Courtesy: Town of Rocky Mount Left: Matt Hankins, Right: Gary Jackson; Courtesy: Town of Rocky Mount
ROCKY MOUNT, VA -

A man who's played a key role in bringing music acts to Downtown Roanoke venues, will head south to Rocky Mount for its new performance center.

Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins announced the hiring of Gary Jackson on Monday afternoon to lead the Harvest Performance Center in Rocky Mount.  The center is expected to open in the Spring of 2014.

Roanokers know Jackson from his position developing and managing the Kirk Avenue Music Hall.  He also has Northern Virginia experience, leading the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria.

"Gary demonstrated tremendous knowledge earned from a lifetime of developing successful new venues which go on to create additional growth in their communities," noted Hankins in a news release.  "This venue will change Rocky Mount's economy, serving as an anchor for new growth and investment. The Harvester deserves - and now has - a manager with deep contacts throughout the music industry and a demonstrated history of success."

Hankins added that Jackson officially began work with the town on May 20th, and his goal is to book shows a year in advance of the expected opening.  He'll also keep booking shows for the Kirk Ave. Music Hall until a successor is hired.

"I can't wait to unveil the lineup of artists for Harvester," Jackson said in the release.  "I know the importance of this effort to the Town, the Town Council and the region, and I look forward to creating a great space where artists and music lovers meet, where the community gathers for events and where the economy grows based on dynamic activity."

Jackson responsibilities will also include setting up a ticket process, a website, and social media for the music hall.

"I have seen the power music has to transform a community, attract new growth and create a stronger sense of place," Jackson said. "The mix of local, regional and national artists who perform here will draw crowds to Rocky Mount and bring in investors willing to create dining, shopping opportunities and jobs demanded by local residents."

The town is investing $2.2 million for the 400 seat Harvest Performance Center project, to draw more people to the town.

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