King Center director reflects on career as he enters his last year


Steve Janicki will have a busy year leading up to his 2020 retirement as the director of the King Center.

Courtesy of Paul Hennessey

Steve Janicki thinks his job as the King Center director is fabulous.

It’s an ideal situation, but it won’t last forever. Janicki will retire in May 2020.

“I think I have one of the greatest jobs in Brevard County,” Janicki said. “I’m asking people to give up two or three hours of their day to be entertained. That’s an awesome responsibility.”

The King Center, owned by Eastern Florida State College (EFSC), is a six-story, 100,000 square foot performing arts center. It was built in 1988 so that Brevard residents could have entertainment close to home.

During Janicki’s tenure, the King Center has been the source of entertainment for millions of guests. It offers more than 115 shows each year.

“Thanks to Steve, three generations of King Center patrons have seen a galaxy of stars without having to set foot into Carnegie Hall, Broadway or the theaters of Hollywood,” said Dr. James Richey, the EFSC president.

For Janicki, it started more than 30 years ago when he was hired as director of the King Center in 1987.

“I take my job seriously, bringing top notch, quality entertainment to Brevard (and) trying to educate our children on the arts,” Janicki said.

To that end, Janicki has ensured that the King Center has an established center for youth education. During his career, Brevard’s premier symphony, the BSO, has had a permanent home at the King Center.

Yet another of his accomplishments is the varying art display featuring local art in the center’s lobby, a collaboration between local artists.

Perhaps most compelling has been Janicki’s ability to recruit a vast variety of entertainment, which has kept pace with changing times during the past three decades.

“Thirty years ago, we had a steady diet of Broadway and Big Band,” Janicki said. “Things have evolved over the years. The job entails knowing the market and what people want to see.”

Richey credited Janicki with providing “world class performers from New York to Nashville.”

“One of the job perks is meeting artists and people from all over the world,” Janicki said. “I have loved every minute of it.”

Janicki’s final year will be challenging, partly due to renovations and upgrades to the King Center.

The King Center will undergo a $1.9 million architectural and interior design upgrade, including a HAVAC repair.

EFSC will conduct a search for a replacement while Janicki still is the director.