North Shore group solicits new arts center study
Supporters of a new performing arts center in the North Tahoe-Truckee area took an important first step on Wednesday.
At their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, the board of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association unanimously approved asking consulting firms to submit proposals to study the feasibility of a regional performing arts center.
Resort association officials have partnered with two regional arts groups, the Arts and Culture Council of Truckee Tahoe and the Incline Vision Arts Cultural and Heritage Committee, to study a regional cultural arts plan, said Ron Treabess, the resort association’s director of community partnerships and planning.
The cultural center could be a single, centrally located facility or several satellite centers located in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee areas, Treabess said.
The association board did not commit money to the project yet, but discussed setting aside $50,000 for their share of the study’s cost, Treabess said during Wednesday’s meeting. The money would come out of the Placer County’s bed tax on visitor lodging. Consultant proposals are due by Feb. 22.
The business association adopted a timeline, and expects the feasibility study to be completed by Oct. 15, according to association documents.
One hitch to the project may be funding. More than two-thirds of North Lake Tahoe residents opposed the 2005 Measure T, a $22 million bond measure to build a recreation center on Dollar Hill. Supporters of a performing arts center said they were concerned voters would also reject a bond measure for the cultural center.
But a bond measure is just one funding option, Treabess said, adding that the center could be financed by a mix of private and public investments.
The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District recently completed the renovation of a 550-seat theater at North Tahoe High School, partly with $150,000 from the resort association.
In a previous interview, Treabess said the high school facility would fit into a plan for multiple performing arts centers in separate communities.
Another institutional player in the area, the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, has started ground work on a community center that could eventually include a swimming facility and theater. The Truckee-Donner district’s top administrator said the community center could become a satellite performing arts facility.
“We are very interested in getting performing arts going in the Truckee and Tahoe area,” General Manager Steve Randall commented.
Those who have devoted their lives to promoting the arts in the Tahoe area say they yearn for a new center.
“The cultural arts is a draw for any area, and it draws the tourists that you want,” said former Arts for the Schools Executive Director Terry Yagura. “They are the ones that stay and spend money and have meals.”
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