Fundraising guidelines and website established for PACC

A rendition of the proposed performing arts and conference center (PACC) in Federal Way at the former Toys R Us building on 20th Avenue South. - Courtesy image
A rendition of the proposed performing arts and conference center (PACC) in Federal Way at the former Toys R Us building on 20th Avenue South.
— image credit: Courtesy image

The Federal Way City Council entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Way Coalition of the Performing Arts (FWCPA) with a 7-0 vote during the council's May 21 meeting.

The memorandum established guidelines for the relationship between the city and the FWCPA regarding fundraising efforts for the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC), said Patrick Doherty, director of economic and community development.

"Naming rights, grant writing and the local capital campaign are where we and the coalition have a relationship, as described in the memorandum of understanding," Doherty said.

The memorandum of understanding is a vehicle to allow the coalition and the city to collaborate on the capital campaign and raise money for the project.

Doherty outlined the roles described for the FWCPA and the city in the memorandum. For the FWCPA, responsibilities will include:

• Researching and writing of grant applications;

• Managing the local capital campaign;

• Submitting funds to a city managed account;

• Collaborating with the city on informational/promotional materials;

• Collaborating with the city on securing any naming rights funds;

• Provide donor information to the city on a monthly basis and indemnify the city.

The city's role will mostly be oversight, Doherty said.

"The city's responsibilities are to provide financial oversight and administration, provide technical assistance and documentation, to collaborate on informational and promotional materials, and collaborate on the capital campaign efforts," Doherty said.

Business community

Councilmember Diana Noble-Gulliford wondered that if there would be any similar agreement reached with the business community for fundraising efforts, citing the fact that it seems the "conference center" portion of the PACC continues to get overlooked.

Doherty said that while there is no independent group from the business community like the FWCPA, the naming rights for the facility would likely provide an opportunity for the business community to contribute funds to the project.

Mayor Skip Priest said Noble-Gulliford's question was "well asked," and that the city "cannot afford to avoid the business community in being part of this process."

Councilmember Jeanne Burbidge said the business community has expressed strong interest in supporting the PACC.

"We have had business people from our community come forward and say they would assist in fundraising in a very significant way," she noted.

Doherty recognized Noble-Gullford and others' concerns, but reiterated that the memorandum of understanding with the FWCPA was for the relationship between the city and that organization only, and that to try and co-opt the FWCPA to include business interests would probably be an inappropriate move on the city's part.

"It may not be entirely appropriate ask an organization that's focused on the arts to pursue fundraising through the business community, but that doesn't mean we can't do that on our own," he said.

New website

Last week, the city launched a website for the project at

The site provides concept drawings of the proposed PACC, along with a summary of the project's construction costs, amenities and mission.

The project has been estimated to cost nearly $32 million. This 41,000-square-foot building is slated for the former Toys R Us site on 20th Avenue South (near the Federal Way Transit Center). Plans include a 700-seat two-tiered auditorium, 125-room hotel, a kitchen, and 8,000 square feet of conference space.

On May 23, the city hosted a public forum at The Commons Mall to discuss details of the project. At least 30 people attended, in addition to all seven members of the city council.

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