Over the past 20-plus years, Pat Jackson has attended more than 120 performances at Lorain County Community College’s Stocker Arts Center and says she couldn’t imagine life without top-notch entertainment close to home.
“Some people can’t make it to downtown Cleveland but love to see live shows, and Stocker gives them that opportunity,” she says. “It’s amazing the people and shows they’ve had. It’s a blessing that Elyria has something like this.”
Jackson, a member of LCCC’s first graduating class in 1967, is a long-time subscriber, and although she enjoys a variety of performances — especially musicals — her favorites feature her granddaughter, Kristine Jackson. Kristine will perform in two shows this spring, “Austin Walkin’ Cane and Kristine Jackson, Blues from the Heart of the Rock & Roll City,” and “Sisters in Song,” with Becky Boyd and Rachel Brown, a choir teacher at Eastern Heights Middle School.
“She has quite a following,” Jackson says of her granddaughter. “She’s opened for B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples. And she’s sung at the Hall of Fame. It’s really special to see her.”
Kristine Jackson says performing at the Stocker Center is special for her, as well.
“It’s the history and patrons,” she says. “I remember performing there as a middle-school kid on my trumpet. My grandma took me to a show or two, as well. She has always enjoyed being a member.”
Kristine Jackson appreciates the audience that Stocker brings to her performances.
“It’s great that they have these music programs and allow working musicians to share our craft with an audience that may otherwise not know what we can do,” she says.
Stocker Arts Center Director Janet Herman Barlow says the center has something for everyone — movies and live theater, jazz bands and orchestras, recitals and acrobats. Nearly 2 million people have visited since it opened in 1980.
“It’s wonderful the college has this amazing facility,” she says. “We bring things that aren’t readily available in other communities to people at an affordable cost.”
Pat Jackson says that is a huge asset.
“I would praise that college, those shows, everything about them,” she says. “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Lorain County.”