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.
WHAT IS NEEDED
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.
SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT STEPS
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 DOES THE AUDIENCE NEED?
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
Beer/ wine/ food
Comfortable seats/ covered waiting area/ lobby
Tiered seating to aid visibility
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 ARE THE ARTISTS?
Who we know needs space:
Music/ dance teachers who need recital space
Touring & local stand-up comics
National acts/ Broadway & off Broadway
Regional touring musical bands
Who else might be interested:
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
WHAT DO THE ARTISTS NEED?
We know they need:
Traditional tongued stage up to 350
Black box up to 146
Wings space, 8-12’ each side
Structures/ risers to rehearse
Rehearsal space/ time
Studio space with pianos
Loading dock/ parking near dock
Merch. booth area
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?)
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