Performing Arts Center
By Lallette Kistler
February 03, 2009
I would like to thank the Borough Assembly for taking a giant
step towards making a Performing Arts Center in Ketchikan a reality.
They recently endorsed the contribution of $500,000 in cruise
ship head tax funds to go towards the First City Players purchase
of the old Fireside/Elks Club building.
The First City Players, which provides much needed diversion
(11 productions a year) to the island-bound residents of this
rock, have been homeless for about ten years now. After losing
use of the Main Street Theater in the Redman Hall, they tried
booking their season at the High School, but it soon became unbearably
cost prohibitive with unbelievably restrictive time constraints.
They recently found a home at the Plaza, but that too is slipping
out from under them. Last fall, the cast of the musical got
24 hours notice that they would not be able to rehearse at the
mall after 8:00pm. Where can you find rehearsal space large
enough to accommodate a cast of 40 singer/dancers on short notice?
Shows that are already scheduled on the calendar at the High
School, with season tickets sold, are getting bumped by High
School activities. You may say, Well, it's their High School,
what's wrong with that? But that was not what the community
was promised when the new auditorium was being built. The Borough
put in extra funds to make sure the facility would be able to
accommodate the needs of the ENTIRE community, not just the High
We NEED this new Performing Arts Center. It will be able to
accommodate First City Players, Ketchikan Theater Ballet, Ketchikan
Community Chorus & Orchestra, Ketchikan Community Concert
Band, Music Recitals, Convention Meeting Space, Cruise Ship Entertainment,
and even School activities! The possibilities are endless.
The Fireside/Elks building is a perfect spot. Typical evening
performances will have plenty of parking, and the convenience
of restaurants, and other night-time entertainment within walking
distance. Gosh, won't it be fun to have a real night out on
the town downtown again!!
For those who don't participate in sports; music, theater and
dance are very important recreational activities. Unlike the
Rec. Center, YOU WILL NOT BE TAXED for this facility. The seed
money is coming from the Cruise Ship head tax. User fees, including
ticket prices & rent from other entities (KTB pays $60,000/year
now), and donations will pay for the maintenance.
The price for the building has already been negotiated and it's
a STEAL!! With the $500,000 the Borough has initially okayed
and FCP money already in the bank, the purchase price is covered.
Rasmussen, other grants, and private donations (Jack Shay has
already thrown down the gauntlet with a $25,000 pledge!!) will
be able to cover the cost of remodel. It's already stripped
down to a shell, so there are no secrets (NO asbestos!) and no
But it's not over. It order to get the $500,000 to pay for the
building, it has to pass two public reviews later this year.
I've heard there has been some negative talk about the initial
decision, so please don't let this valuable community project
get railroaded. For your kids, your grandkids, your quality
of life, and the future of Ketchikan, talk to your Assembly members
and your neighbors.
If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please
stop by the First City Players office on the second floor of
the mall. Thank you, in advance, for your help and support.
This is an exciting time in Ketchikan!
About: "First City Players
member, advertiser, and donor & past board member, director
and conductor; Ketchikan Community Chorus and Orchestra member
& past board member and director; Ketchikan Community Concert
Band member; Arts Council member & donor; Voice & Piano
Teacher; Insurance and Financial Sales & Service; Drywall
Contractor; Landlord "
Received February 02, 2009
- Published February 03, 2009
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