As the recently hired executive director of the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations, Ally Haynes-Hamblen said she has spent time with the facility’s namesake learning about its history and goals.

“He made it very clear that it is important to him that ... we can call each other up anytime we have a question,” she said. “He’s held true to that; I’ve enjoyed getting to know him.”

The Eisemann Center opened on Sept. 12, 2002. Haynes-Hamblen started her position 20 years later.

She said the origins of the center date back to the 1990s when Richardson City Council members and local business leaders wanted to build an art center that would bring people to Richardson.

“Where the Eisemann Center is placed is part of a master plan with the Renaissance Hotel next to us; they would complement each other and bring tourism to Richardson,” she said. “It was built intentionally right on the [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] line.”

There are approximately 450 performances given annually.

Haynes-Hamblen said performances include rock ‘n’ roll, classical music, dance, ensemble theater, one-person shows and more.

“If you can envision putting it on a stage in a theater, we can do it,” Haynes-Hamblen said.

One of Haynes-Hamblen’s responsibilities is booking performances. A way she does this is by attending performing arts conferences where she watches live performances and meets with agents.

“My No. 1 criterion is performance excellence. I don’t have to be a fan of the genre as long as the performer is at the top of their craft,” she said. “What’s important is if the audience is going to be interested in the act.”

Haynes-Hamblen said after 20 years, the Eisemann Center continues to be what she was told it was designed to be, “a crown jewel for the community.”

“The people who live in Richardson feel that sense of ownership and pride,” she said.

Business information:

The Charles W. Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and two hours prior to live ticketed performances.