The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is pleased to release a 10th Anniversary Report to the Community chronicling the most memorable moments and the positive impact of the nonprofit arts and cultural organization.
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has welcomed 1.8 million ticketed patrons since it opened in November 2002. With more than 1,400 performances, the Center has presented a wide variety of arts and cultural programs including the best of Broadway, artistic traditions from throughout America and cultural performances that open a window to the world in the Fox Cities. The Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America – Fox Cities Series has featured time-honored favorites, Popular Productions and 22 Wisconsin premiere engagements.
“As I reflect on the Center’s programs, I’m struck by the variety of titles and artists who have performed on our community stage,” said Maria Van Laanen, the Center’s executive vice president. “I’m pleased to say that we serve all interests and aspects of our community and broaden the horizon of arts enrichment each year.” In addition to performances, the Center has engaged 70,000 visitors in a deeper understanding of the arts through free community engagement activities.
GENERATING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
Since opening, the Fox Cities P.A.C. has driven more than $178 million in economic activity. According to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, each ticket holder spends an average of $19.45 in the local economy not including the cost of an event ticket. Tourists seeing a performance spend up to 95 percent more when visiting the Fox Cities.
Representing the Center’s Board of Directors, Chairman John Hogerty addressed the importance of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center as an economic generator saying, “The influence of the Center on our local economy is a lot greater than you might expect. The Center attracts tourism dollars, encourages local interest in the community and serves as an asset to Fox Cities businesses which strive to attract and retain top professional talent.”
The Fox Cities P.A.C.’s economic influence is made even more powerful by the organization’s ability to attract local spending during what might be slower quarters for other local industries. The Wisconsin premiere of WICKED in February 2009 was a prime example of this phenomenon as the economy entered a recession, the Fox Cities P.A.C. generated more than $18 million in economic activity for local businesses.
GATHERING PLACE FOR THE COMMUNITY
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s mission focuses on creating a world-class live performing arts venue that serves as a gathering place for the community. Since opening, 213 local nonprofit and community groups have utilized the Center for their events including concerts, fundraisers and even proms and graduations. Van Laanen says, “It’s one of the many ways the Center has become a part of our community fabric. One of the dreams for building this facility was that the Center could serve community groups and businesses, providing a venue where they could gather for events. We’re especially proud of hosting many Fox Cities arts groups from the Appleton Boychoir to the Fox Valley Symphony because it further allows us to share the arts with our community.”
Since opening, 218,000 students have attended 208 performances in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s daytime education series. Attracting schools from throughout the Fox Cities, Northeast Wisconsin and beyond, the Center’s education series encourages learning beyond the classroom walls by bringing textbook lessons to life onstage.
The Center’s positive impact on students reaches beyond a trip to the Fox Cities P.A.C. The education series is designed to meet Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for grades PreK-12 and ties directly to classroom curriculum. For each performance, educators are provided study guides and student activity ideas. Whenever possible, the Center coordinates free classroom workshops bringing professional artists directly into the schools for added arts enrichment.
STRONG 2011/12 SEASON RESULTS
The Center’s 2011/12 Season marks the organization’s most recently completed year of operations and continued a strong tradition of excellence. In total, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center presented 118 performances and welcomed 129,487 ticket holders. Events ranged from Broadway classics like The New 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables and Mary Poppins to hot new shows like Million Dollar Quartet and Billy Elliot the Musical. On the Boldt Arts Alive! Series, the Center presented a wide array of cultural programming for all ages from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Danú: A Christmas in Ireland to Clifford the Big Red Dog™ – LIVE! More than 6,100 people took part in 26 free community engagement activities, broadening their arts experience at the Fox Cities P.A.C.