John Zirkle moved to Big Sky for a ski bum year after college, and now more than a dozen years later, his ambitious programming has helped elevate Big Sky to a regular stop for the world’s most accomplished performing artists.
In the morning, John Zirkle is teaching Greek theater to teenagers at Lone Peak High School, part of his job as the Big Sky School District drama and fine arts teacher. By afternoon, he’s busy booking poet Billy Collins or singer Vanessa Williams to come perform in town in his role as Executive Director of the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, or WMPAC, Big Sky’s community theater that doubles as the high school auditorium. “That juxtaposition is very fulfilling,” says Zirkle. “It’s constantly humbling and inspiring.”
John is a renaissance man, whose arrival in town happened at just the right time in Big Sky’s evolution as a community to support his ideas and talents. “John is inventing the wheel right here in rural Montana. This isn’t just a Big Sky story. This is a success story that all Montanans should be proud of,” says Tallie Lancey, former president of the Arts Council of Big Sky and a current WMPAC board member. “The youth of our community are living in the golden age of Big Sky when it comes to the performing arts. John’s influence here will be felt for generations.”
To read the full article, click here.