Northwest NEWS

December 14, 1998

Local News

Performing arts center planned for Northshore

by Deborah Stone

   The dream of a performing arts center in Northshore is alive and well and gradually becoming a reality. According to Kathleen Byers, Treasurer of the Northshore Performing Arts Center Foundation (NPACF), the idea to build a world-class center for performing, displaying, and celebrating the arts in the Woodinville/Bothell area is now a definite goal with hopes of fulfillment in five years.

   "The Foundation has had site and programming studies done to tell us what type of facility our community needs," explains Byers, "and they have indicated a combined venue consisting of a 1,200-seat concert hall and a 350-seat theatre."

   The studies looked at existing facilities in Northshore and the areas around it and identified desirable sites for a possible center. "There is a piece of property near the UW Bothell/Cascadia Community College joint campus that is under consideration currently," says Byers. "It meets the needs of a proposed center, as it has easy freeway access, is centrally located in Northshore, and is close to various services and businesses."

   The NPACF is made up of businesses, parents, educators, artists, and governmental agencies who have formed an alliance in this shared effort. "Strong support by the community shows us there is serious commitment to enriching the Northshore region," adds Byers. "This area has rich talent and a love of the arts, and the list of potential users of such a center is extensive."

   A principal beneficiary will be the Northshore School District, which is now in partnership with the NPACF. The Center will be available to the District fifty percent of the time for use by area elementary, junior high, and high schools for performances, ceremonies, cultural events, etc. Other major users could include the UW Bothell and the new Cascadia Community College.

   According to Byers, the many local musical groups, dance troupes, and drama groups are excited about the promise of performing in the NPAC, and some are considering the possibility of making the Center their home.

   NPAC will also bring in top-notch road shows to further enrich the community. A rough estimate for the cost of the Center is $25 million. "Our plan is to have $200,000 in donations by next July and then hire an executive director," says Byers. "We'll also need to hire a fundraising consultant to put together a capital campaign."

   Fundraising has been ongoing since January, 1997. Recently, the Foundation was a partner in the Northshore Chamber of Commerce's annual auction and raised $8,400. A CD featuring music of ENCORE, Inglemoor High School's vocal jazz choir, is available to the public for $15, and all proceeds will jointly be shared by NPACF and the Inglemoor High Choral Music Boosters.

   There is also a three-program concert series planned to showcase area talent and to benefit the NPACF. The first concert in the series is Jan. 21, featuring ENCORE and the UW Studio I Jazz Ensemble in an evening of jazz music. Tax-deductible donations in support of the NPACF can be sent to: NPACF, P.O. Box 486, Bothell, WA 98011.

   For further information, contact Neil Larson, Foundation president, at 425-488-7892.