A rendering of the Performing Arts and Event Center, which is set to open this summer. File photo

Federal Way Coalition of the Performing Arts raises $1.1 million for PAEC campaign

Federal Way Coalition of the Performing Arts President Joann Piquette recently announced the group has raised $1.1 million for the Performing Arts and Event Center.

The funds include $35,600 in commitments, not yet received, and a $20,000 grant from 4 Culture.

“It took us 28 years to get to this with a variety of concerts and other fundraising activities along the way,” Piquette said, adding that before the city was incorporated, there were 11 performing groups that had to perform in churches, schools or other cities’ venues.

In 1988, the groups met to discuss their needs and formed an organization called the Society for The Acquisition and Refinement of a Performing Arts Center, or STAR PAC.

“The motto was bringing home the stars, as they couldn’t perform here,” Piquette said. “We worked on bylaws, elected officers, pursued a nonprofit status and decided to put on a concert that included all 11 groups.”

More than 800 people attended the performance, held at Decatur High School, which paved the way for future annual fundraising events.

Eventually renaming themselves the Federal Way Coalition of the Performing Arts, five performing groups remain: the Federal Way Chorale, Jet Cities Chorus, Harmony Kings, Federal Way Symphony and the Federal Way Youth Symphony Orchestra.

These performing groups will be resident companies at the Performing Arts and Event Center once it opens this summer, Piquette said.

Although the coalition has reached its goal of raising $1 million for the new performing arts center, it still welcomes additional contributions or naming rights for any of the center’s 716 seats.

“First you dream, you add total commitments, despite the many challenges, and include willingness to ignore the calendar so long as you can see progress,” Piquette said. “So, finally, we can say mission accomplished.”

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