The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center Foundation Board voted Wednesday to dismiss SKyPAC President and CEO Tom Carto and extend the closure of the facility and the Capitol Arts Center through Oct. 31.

SKyPAC oversees the county- opened Capitol, and both facilities have been closed since mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest decisions were announced in a news release Friday.

“As part of the austerity measures, staff reductions and furloughs are expected. Among the personnel-related changes, Tom Carto is no longer employed as the President & CEO of the SKyPAC Foundation,” according to the release.

Carto came to SKyPAC in 2018. In a 2019 interview with the Daily News, Carto said his primary challenge was paying down about a $1 million SKyPAC debt.

No reason for Carto’s departure was given in the release, and efforts to reach board members Saturday were unsuccessful.

As for the continued closures: “Acknowledging the desire to re-open at 100% capacity as soon as possible, the board indicated they would be willing to adjust the closure timeline based on continued assessment of area conditions. Though most events had previously been postponed beyond this date, the closure officially cancels any shows or rentals through the end of October, including the annual ‘SOKY’s Got Talent’ competition and the BG OnStage production of ‘Shrek The Musical Jr.,’ both slated for September,” according to the release.

“In evaluating the enormous challenges posed on the entire performing arts industry, it became increasingly evident that closing both of our facilities for the next four months seemed a responsible course of action,” SKyPAC Foundation Board Chair Beth Sigler said in the release. “By suspending operations and minimizing expenses as much as possible, we hope to better position ourselves to emerge from this pandemic once the public feels safe and comfortable returning to our facilities.”

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