Author David Baldacci Speaks in Roanoke - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Author David Baldacci Speaks in Roanoke

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DOWNTOWN ROANOKE -

It was a packed house at the Jefferson Center as hundreds of people stood in line to see one of their favorite authors David Baldacci. There was a lot of excitement over the show and even from Baldacci himself.

"It's really meant a lot to me," Baldacci said.

Even a big name act like Baldacci says he's impressed with the programs at the Jefferson Center, one he plans to recommend to other acts that the center may be interested in hosting.

"You only grow if you if you're programs are good. The reason that this program has grown and doing so well, is because they are doing it so well."

Ian Fortier, the director of patron services talked about their secret to keeping the big names coming in.

"We are welcoming. we aren't just a place that artists just get off, and play, and leave," Fortier said.

"When artists come here. they get the opportunity to interact and share their talent."

Baldacci used the time at the center to give back one of the best way he knows how,speaking on the importance of literacy.

"Reading opened up the whole world for me and the idea of giving back, it's almost like its not giving back,it's doing what we are supposed to do," Baldacci said.

Fortier says the center's music lab is another example of connecting world class artists to local kids --- like most recently Snarky Puppy who recorded their itunes jazz hit, "family dinner" all while getting involved with local children.

The center also rents space and houses various non-profits like churches and local advocacy groups. a factor that Ian says helps spread the word about big upcoming shows.

He says 2013 shows are selling out faster than previous years .six sell-outs so far -- and more are expected.

"Our entire model is focused on ensuring that we serve our community the best that we can."

That dedication to serving the local community is keeping the big names coming in, and the ticket sales going up.

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