Waco supporters — and nonsupporters — of the arts can share their thoughts and ideas about a possible downtown Waco performing arts center during a public open house scheduled from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Monday at the Cooper House, 1801 Austin Ave.
The meeting, led by consulting firm Keen Independent Research, the city and the nonprofit Creative Waco, will feature leaders of the study and allow the public to speak on the subject.
The city awarded a $150,000 contract last fall to Keen to recommend the scope and scale of a possible multipurpose cultural facility, one shaped by local demand and gaps in the city’s existing cultural facilities, which would be located in the Downtown Waco Cultural District. It is the first action taken toward a possible new center or building by Waco City Council members beyond a general discussion of a new performing facility.
Keen Chief Operating Officer Alex Keen and a team made their first fact-finding visit to Waco in October and met with city and county officials, arts organization representatives, business and education leaders.
Waco Economic Development Director Melett Harrison said Monday’s meeting is intended to expand feedback from other parts of the community.
Study leaders need a sense of community interest, support and participation to gauge whether a new performance space is needed, what size if so and whether local financial resources can pay for it, Harrison said.
“They need input from a variety of people,” she said. “It matters what the community will support. (A facility) needs to be the right size in our market.”
More sessions allowing for public input are likely ahead, but those may be more focused on feedback to preliminary proposals.
“This is happening now,” Harrison said. “Everybody who has an opinion, whether pro, con or neutral, should come.”
Anyone unable to make the meeting can share their views and opinions on a study hotline, 307-2669, or through email at email@example.com.
A survey and virtual workshop also will be available at http://bit.ly/35oqzVi through Jan. 31.
Keen Independent Research has offices in Denver and Phoenix. It serves as the study’s project manager and economic consultant with assistance from study partners Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Venue Cost Consultants and Victor Gotesman Performing Arts Facilities Planning.