The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center is getting $100,000 to help create more signage for the center and events.
On Aug. 10, King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer sent a letter to Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, letting him know the city was approved for the Building for Culture grant.
The letter reads in part: “This grant… will provide additional funding to improve signage for the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center.”
In the letter, von Reichbauer said he and his colleagues created the grant, and he urged the mayor or an official contact to fill out the necessary paperwork as soon as possible so the money can be available.
Federal Way was awarded a similar grant from 4Culture by the King County Council in November 2015 for $2 million, which went toward construction costs for the PAEC.
The mayor’s office is still figuring out exactly what the funds will be used for, said Tyler Hemstreet, city spokesman.
Ferrell said during the Aug. 14 city council meeting that the city is excited to have received this grant.
“This is great news for the city of Federal Way. I’d like to thank County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer for his continued support for our city,” he said.
Ferrell also said the city will be working closely with venue management company Spectra to determine the best way to use the grant.
More signage could be a benefit to the event center. Many complaints from residents include the lack of knowledge and advertising about events at the PAEC. One resident said in a Facebook post, “I have never seen anything or heard of any upcoming event. And I drive past it every day on my way to the transit center.”
On average, the attendance rate for events and performances at the 716-seat PAEC is about 50 percent since the building opened last August, according to city records.
Since the city hasn’t yet decided how it will use the signage funds, it’s unclear if the advertisement will be geared toward Federal Way residents or those living in the surrounding areas. Based on a list of ZIP codes for attendees at the PAEC, at least 32 percent came from Federal Way ZIP codes 98003, 98023 and 98063. At least 30 percent came from a ZIP codes in Pierce County including the Tacoma, Puyallup, Bonney Lake and Gig Harbor areas, and at least 10 percent came from the Auburn and unincorporated King County areas. A handful of visitors claimed an Oregon ZIP code. The list also logs a few out-of-state visitors from Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
More details about this grant will be released as they become available.