Cove man appointed to VLA board
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A Copperas Cove man has stepped up to do what he can to keep Vive Les Arts, a local nonprofit community theater based in Killeen, going.
George Covert was among 11 were elected to serve on the board of directors at an August 15 membership meeting.
After its summer production of “The Little Mermaid,” Vive Les Arts was in danger of closing its doors after the end of July, but renewed efforts during the past month have been made to keep the theater open.
A longtime Covite, Covert said that his wife, Jeanne, and their four children have been associated with theater arts for many years, and that carried over when the family moved to Copperas Cove and found VLA. One of his daughters, Covert said, has also been helping to manage different production over the last couple of years.
“It’s a worthwhile organization that provides community service and we are a large enough area with the area of Fort Hood that can not only support it, but provides an outlet for the youth that want to dabble in the acting field and be associated with theater,” Covert said of the organization.
In addition to the twice-a-year children’s productions, VLA also hosts traveling theater groups.
“Recently, the Missoula Children’s Theatre group, one of those companies that comes through every year, gives children the ability to have some training in theater, and to do theater, and be exposed to it,” Covert said. “When these workshops come through, there are great opportunities. What better way to have a learning and growing experience than the theater?”
VLA also provides a creative outlet for adults who enjoy participating in live theater.
“For the main stage, with a lot of adult roles, there’s a lot of adults in the area that like to perform,” Covert said. “With the Waco Civic Theater, Temple Theater, Georgetown Theater, this is another outlet for those individuals as they want to be a part of that show.
“We also support a larger community than the Fort Hood area. A lot of talent comes in from a larger area. It rotates through all those theaters, to include adults and older children.”
He believes that improvements have already been made with the election of new board members.
“Everyone is involved fully, 100 percent with all their talents and all their time,” Covert said. “To prove that, we’re meeting once week until we can get all this settled. Our commitment is to get it all going again.” Covert is glad to add a Copperas Cove presence on the board as well. VLA is an all-volunteer operation, save for a couple of salaried positions for day-to-day operations, Covert added.
One area he seeks to improve is in the area of marketing and publicity for the theater.
“If you’re not out there selling the product and marketing it, letting people know you exist, you’re not going to succeed. (The board will be) using all the news, radio, TV, social media, all the outlets you would expect for marking, to keep the community informed about events that are happening. We plan to keep the community informed to the best of our ability.”
Covert plans to bring his management skills to the table.
“As a retired colonel in the military, I have management skills. I’m also an Army comptroller, I’ve managed budgets from millions to billons,” Covert said. In addition to VLA, Covert leads a Cub Scouts pack and is part of the leadership of the area Boy Scouts Longhorn Council.
Also elected to the board were Howard Fomby, Kerry Ann Frazier, Vicki Carlson, Jerry Juliano, Mike Linneman, Brett Pritchard, Cody Sulak, Jim Wrex and Bonnie Kilpatrick. New board members join Summer Heidtbrink, Patrick Kern, Susan Facett, Stacie Dishon and Joann Purser.