Performing Arts Space Discussion

Clark Creativity Support organized a grassroots, community building event on February 18th, 2017 to discuss the need for performance art space in Clark County. Utilizing data collected in a survey completed by dozens of local performing arts professionals, CCS developed questions for attendees designed to spark productive discussion and creative problem solving. Here is what that initial conversation yielded:

Vancouver Performing Arts Center
Planning Meeting 1 – 2/18/17


Small groups with rotations

Free form discussion – although it should grow increasingly more structured.

Set market research from existing spaces. This will be meat for legislators.

Work on metrics to get the plan developed and ask for money.

Need economic models from other locations.

Get more performers at next meetings. Invite high school theater teachers.

Education that everything is financial. Eradicate the word ‘free’.

Case studies of successful centers.
Include action points and organizational pieces.

We need a newsletter/ calendar that includes all the genres and media.

Figure out how to get the Parks Foundation to embrace the arts as well.

Develop smaller committees and deputize a “sales force”.
What we know is needed:

Room to dance/ ability to add or take out seats

Box office/ advance ticket sales/ will call – no big surcharges


Variety of shows and offerings

Memorable name for venue

Good acoustics

Beer/ wine/ food

Comfortable seats/ covered waiting area/ lobby

Tiered seating to aid visibility

Coat check
What we need find out about:
Can audience donate to venue

Is unique programming available

What are people interested in/ what is the market

Capture audience feedback/ program survey

Can it be all ages or 21+

Good marketing so audience knows what’s going on

Sell show/ organization merchandise

Need central location/ build in arts community hub

Near places to go after a show

Outdoor performing area also

Memberships to increase affordability

Is ample parking space available
Who we know needs space:
Improv groups

Visual artists

Music/ dance teachers who need recital space


Creative startups

Dance companies

Children’s theater

Community theater


Touring & local stand-up comics

Rock bands

National acts/ Broadway & off Broadway

Regional touring musical bands

Vancouver Symphony

Who else might be interested:
County organizations

Native tribe involvement

PDX folks that have been priced out/ North PDX folks

Spoken word narrative like “The Moth”

Multi-media new performers

Young people with no funds/ affordability

People who move here because of growing arts community

Groups that are too small or too big for the Kiggins

We know they need:
Traditional tongued stage up to 350

Black box up to 146

Wings space, 8-12’ each side

Recording studio

Structures/ risers to rehearse

Rehearsal space/ time

Studio space with pianos

Loading dock/ parking near dock


Scene shop

Merch. booth area

Green room

Storage: costumes, set design

Advertising/ publishing/ marketing

Lighting/ sound/ good acoustics

Master scheduling/ good management

They may also need:
Outreach opportunities (mobile theater? pop up?)

Career opportunities

Partnership opportunities

More events that encourage community participation

Mentorship & teaching opportunities

Professional volunteers: light/sound techs, stage/set builders, performance teachers

Summer festival opportunities

Country-wide networking with local arts groups & non-profits

Funding/ grants for productions

Encourage creative community to move hear (affordability)


What will be sustainable & lasting?

What would be community owned, or would all artists have to provide their own stuff? (IE: sound/light equipment, costumes, prop/ set, etc)

Business structure: non-profit or for profit

Patrons/ angel investors/ public funding

Artist resources: promotional, technical, planning

Ensure rates are affordable for artists

Multi-genre calendar/ newsletter

Catalog of all artists in Vancouver/ Clark County

Developers with experience building space

People who have experience running an arts center


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s