Performing Arts Center
By Lou Ann Richardson
February 12, 2009
I am writing to thank Mr. Dial for his recent letter to the Sitnews
Editor and for his overall support of Borough funding of the
Performing Arts Center with CPV funding. I did, however, want
to correct some misconceptions in his letter, and answer some
of Mr. Dial's reservations concerning parking for the new center.
With all due respect, Mr. Dial's tone sounds defensive toward
what he believes to be the "Arts Council", or maybe
the city for the library issue, or maybe the borough for it's
handling of the cruise ship tax fund, or maybe the performing
arts center. Unfortunately, with respect to the performing arts
center, he has either been misinformed or has made assumptions
based on what he thinks he knows and understands about the "Arts
As a First City Players (FCP), board member, let me clarify that
the performing arts center to which he refers, is not a project
of the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council. It has nothing
to do with the KAAHC. First City Players is leading this project,
in conjunction with Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. The assumption
that FCP and KAAHC organizations are one in the same is a common
assumption/mistake often made, but we are separate organizations
with different budgets, missions, and board of directors.
The first misstatement by Mr. Dial: Mr. Dial's assertion that
"the Arts Council and most of its members, who were extremely
PRO-consolidation, may have a new building only because we did
not consolidate", is a casualty of the assumption that the
Arts Council and FCP are one entity. At no time, did First City
Players ever take a position on consolidation. We are proud of
a volunteer, audience and membership base that comprises the
full spectrum of political opinion in Ketchikan, and so out of
respect for all the people we serve, we avoid taking "sides"
in matters of public politics, (that includes the library).
As for the parking issue, Mr. Dial believes that FCP's need for
the parking area across from the police station will put "the
Arts Council, (actually FCP), in the uncomfortable position of
being forced to take a stand on the new library issue. Dial states
"Even if you assume that parking for this new facility is
adequate, it is only so because of the parking lot across the
street." In discussing parking for the new PAC, it is important
to remember that by purchasing the Fireside, FCP is also purchasing
the building s total allocation of 108 parking spaces from two
Local Improvement District or LIDs: the Berth 2 LID, and that
of Barney Way.
Mr. Dial continues: "I would suggest that you not try to
argue for a parking exemption claiming that the center will be
used primarily during non business hours. To do so opens the
borough's dedication of these funds to a legal challenge that
they are not an appropriate use of the Cruise Ship Tax funds.
As you know these funds must have a nexus to the cruise ship
passenger who is in town primarily during business hours (they
sail at night)."
Mr. Dial is absolutely correct that the cruise ships sail at
night, but it is also true that cruise ship passengers don't
drive cars. Our LID is more than adequate for serving the staff
of even the most ambitious of daytime programming for cruise
ship passengers. Taken in context, we have only argued that parking
demand for the art center will primarily be for our evening programming.
This was the statement contained in our proposal to the Borough:
The parking resources within 200 feet of the Fireside total 230
spaces, not counting the proposed parking garage, the Main School
site, the Methodist Church lot, and on-street parking. Even 15%
of our LIDs 108 spaces are more than adequate to serve staff
and our non driving daytime audiences. The 230 spaces within
200 feet are more than adequate to serve our driving off-peak
To make it clear, the activities that the center would be providing
would occur in two ways:
First, during the day to cruise ship passengers and other walk-ins
with little to no parking demand (during business hours and thereby
meeting the dedication of cruise ship tax money); and second
in the evenings, during "off-peak", after business
hours when parking is a non-issue.
On behalf of the entire board of First City Players, I would
welcome Mr. Dial, as well as anyone of the community to join
us for our annual meeting at the end of February where we will
be discussing the Performing Arts Center with our membership
and giving tours of the Fireside building. Details will be appearing
soon on our website at firstcityplayers.org.
If that is not possible, we welcome any and all visitors to our
FCP office located on the top floor of the Plaza mall to look
at the proposed floor design of the Fireside remodel, or to call
the office anytime at 225-4792 for more information on what we
do and our hopes plans for a Performing Arts Center for Ketchikan.
Lou Ann Richardson
About: "Longtime First
City Players member and Board member. 25 year resident."
Received February 10, 2009
- Published February 12, 2009
Arts Center By Rodney Dial
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