BIG SKY – If you’ve grown up watching Warren Miller ski movies or only seen one or two, chances are you’ve heard some of Reckless Kelly’s music. About 1,000 people got the chance to see this band live on Wednesday Aug. 8 at a free concert at the Big Sky Town Center.

The concert was part of a wedding reception for Sarah Phelps and Lee Griffiths that they opened up to the town of Big Sky as a benefit for the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. Anne Marie Mistretta, Secretary for Friends of Big Sky Education, reports that $453 was raised for WMPAC.

Lee Griffiths, owner of Landscaping for Less, underwrote the concert. “Reckless Kelly did two concerts in Austin this year and helped raise $235,000 for HAAM and $100,000 for youth sports,” Griffiths said. “The new performing arts center is a huge addition to our community and we were happy to have an opportunity to pair our celebration with raising money for this important community facility.”

Griffiths said he and Phelps hoped to raise more at the event, “but our hope is that we were able to raise awareness and that we have opened the door for more donations.”

When completed, the 282 seat WMPAC will be comparable in size to Bozeman’s Ellen Theater. Other features of the flexible floor plan will include removable seating to add an orchestra pit, a stage that doubles as a classroom, a two-story lobby with galleries for visual arts exhibitions and an elevator for easy access to seats in the upper rows.

The Arts Center had planned to open two years ago, however it remains just shy of its fundraising goals in order to complete construction. The facility has walls, a roof, plumbing and mechanical, but the interior – from the seats to the stage curtain – still need to be purchased and installed.

Donations to the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center can still be made by emailing wmpac@friendsofbigskyeducation.org.