Staff cuts part of Brewery's master plan

Major staff cuts have been made at Carson City's Brewery Arts Center as part of the center's master plan, according to the executive director.

Longtime employee Ann Suter is no longer working as the art center's office manager. Kevin Ray, who worked for two years under a contract, will no longer be doing programming and marketing. Two part-time workers, Gary Guberman who does lighting and John Blow who does general maintenance, had their hours cut.

"It was a surprise - I was there seven years," Suter said.

Executive Director Phil Caterino said it's all part of the plan.

"We're just doing a reorganization to make it more reflective of where we're going next with the master plan, then we'll get re-staffed next year," said Caterino, who took over as executive director in August.

Ray and Suter, who pretty much ran the center before Caterino was hired, are staying positive.

"For those of us who have been with the Brewery for years - we just wish the best for the Brewery in whatever changes it has to go through," Ray said.

Suter said she will retain all the friends she made during her time at the Brewery. "How can I be sad when I've made so many friends? It was a wonderful time for me. I think I was pretty lucky to have those seven years."

Caterino, Suter and Ray all said volunteers are a key element for nonprofit organizations like the Brewery.

"Just like any other nonprofit the volunteers are really the ones that keep you going," Caterino said.

"With nonprofits today, we all struggle," Suter said. "It's up and down, up and down. But, you know, I figure we helped lay the foundation at the Brewery."

Ray voiced his support for the center's board of directors, even if they had to let him go. "Phil is still getting his feet wet so he's doing the best he can do. He definitely needs the support of the board. I wish them all the best."

The Brewery's master plan now calls for less focus on concerts and events and more on retrofitting the new performance hall - formerly St. Teresa's Church, Caterino said.

"We just got this grant money for the new performance hall so we won't have a lot of programming until the hall is finished."

A $100,000 grant from the commission for cultural affairs will pay for elevated seating and sound upgrades, he said.

Other changes called for in the plan include more children's classes, more outdoor, multi-day music festivals and more of a retail slant in the artisans shop, he said.

They want to help make the Brewery a part of a walkable redevelopment district.

"We want to see what we can add here as far as facilities to increase the capacity for the performing arts and turn this into a place where people want to walk to. You know, how can we fit in with the character of the area?"

Although Suter says she'll be looking for other opportunities in Carson City, she said she is looking on the bright side.

"Maybe now I can take all the watercolor classes and ceramics classes I never got to take," she said.

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.


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