Letters to the Editor

Infinite possibilities for an arts center | Federal Way letters

The Federal Way City Council is closing in on a decision to purchase property for Federal Way’s anticipated performing arts center. On behalf of myself and the Federal Way Chorale (I am president of that organization), I strongly support this purchase and urge that the city move forward on the center.

I have come to refer to the anticipated center as “PAC3” — the Performing Arts, Cultural and Civic (or Convention) Center. I think we may be underestimating the economic engine that a PAC3 could be for Federal Way.

Certainly it would provide a venue for the fine arts organizations in Federal Way: Federal Way Chorale, the Federal Way Symphony, Harmony Kings, dance organizations, and many others. That, however, is only the beginning, for there is little reason that a PAC3, if vigorously managed and promoted, could not end up being used many, many days and nights of the year, bringing people to Federal Way, increasing spending in local businesses and, of course, creating jobs. Think of the following:

1. There are many professional touring acts (theater, dance, musical theater, opera, folk music) that play in smaller venues. Other local PACs have a full calendar of such acts throughout a year, playing to sizable audiences. Federal Way could become a player in this arena.

2. A PAC3 in Federal Way could be a venue for the rock and country music acts such as those that appear in the casino showrooms in the area, again bringing audiences, spending and jobs to Federal Way.

3. I have been a Kiwanis member for several years. I have noted that the Pacific Northwest Kiwanis conventions have gone in recent years to such cities as Bend, Eugene and Klamath Falls, Ore. With a PAC3, Federal Way could be in the running to host area conventions of Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Soroptomist and many other service organizations. Again, this brings people and money to Federal Way and creates jobs.

4. There are instances where larger local companies seek a site for large meetings, such as employee forums or shareholder meetings. A PAC3 in Federal Way could be in the running to be the venue for such meetings.

5. Could a PAC3 be a site for small to medium sized trade shows, job fairs and the like?

6. Could a PAC3 be the site for larger receptions?

I could go on and on. The opportunities for use of a PAC3 are endless. I believe it could (if, as noted, it was aggressively managed and promoted) quickly become not only self-sustaining, but, as noted, a potent engine for economic growth in Federal Way (including making Federal Way more attractive to businesses seeking a location).

Bob Dockstader, Federal Way

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