SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Performing Arts Center
By Lallette Kistler


February 12, 2009
Thursday PM

Thank you, Rodney Dial, for keeping the Performing Arts Center debate alive. Excuse me for not recognizing your efforts towards the cause. Indeed, had we consolidated, the funds would not be available, and I do believe that you deserve a great deal of credit for its demise.

First of all, let me correct an assumption. The Arts Council already has a building. They purchased it last year. It is a small place across the street from the Fireside. The Performing Arts Center would be owned and operated by the First City Players, which needs a much larger space than the Arts Council did.

Next, parking, I understand the issue. I used to work downtown. It was a nightmare! I, personally, think the library should be moved to the West End, or somewhere else on the bus route. We cannot afford to lose another downtown parking lot, and I don t see the library as a big tourist destination. We already have a hospital wing that was built without adequate parking. Let s not do the library the same way. On the same thread, I don t understand why the new fire station can t be built somewhere outside of the downtown core either. The current building would make an excellent museum!

My point with parking is that most performances will be at night, and daytime performances will be primarily for tourists off the ship who don t have a car to park. Afternoon rehearsals/activities are for school children who are dropped off and also don t have a car to park. If the parents do park, it will most likely be right in front of a nice restaurant or their favorite downtown store to while away the hours adding to the sales tax revenue.

Yes, there will need to be some parking for staff etc., but not nearly as much as there would be if it were turned back into a restaurant. Its lack of windows would make it an undesirable office location, or retail space. The office space that would be rented is for the Ketchikan Theater Ballet, which would be moving from down the street and would have no increased impact on parking. As a matter of fact, it would move it away from a very busy, crowded corner and help the overall traffic and parking. The Fireside is in a relatively sleepy corner of downtown.

I have to say that I really don t deserve credit for any of this great accomplishment. Elizabeth Nelson, Keith Smith and the First City Players board of governors are the ones who have done all the hard work. I m just trying to spread the word! The First City Players has been working on this for longer than the bridge project. Many smaller Alaskan communities with much less activity than ours already have their own performing arts centers. Are we really nowhere? I think not. Ketchikan is one of the top art communities in the United States. Let s prove it!

Thank you, again, Mr. Dial for your contribution to our Performing Arts Center, and your well wishes. I welcome your input.

Lallette Kistler
Ketchikan AK

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 09, 2009 - Published February 12, 2009


Related Viewpoint:

letterPerforming Arts Center By Rodney Dial

Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2008
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska