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New $36 million Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center to enhance Spokane's economy

The SVPAC will benefit Spokane artistically and economically. For every dollar spent on the theater, $33 is put back into the economy, a study says.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center (SVPAC) announced its plans on Monday to build a $36 million arts center that will enhance the region's economy.

The 59,000 square foot SVPAC will be the home of the Spokane Valley Summer Theatre (SVST), and it will be located on a 5-acre parcel land along the Interstate 90 corridor between Evergreen and Sullivan in the Mirabeau neighborhood. 

Plans for the SVPAC were sparked after the success of SVST, which will become the resident theater at the facility programing year-round.

"Building the Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center will not only give Spokane Valley Summer Theatre a permanent home but will also be a beacon of light for the performing arts in general, as well as give the region a space that will have multiple users," Executive Artistic Director Yvonne A.K. Johnson said.

Since its founding in 2016, the SVST has set attendance records year after year, and it has elevated local theatre to a professional level of entertainment. According to a SVPAC press release, SVST season tickets increased 42% from 2018 to 2019 and the annual operating budget has doubled in 6 years.

The building will not only benefit the Spokane area artistically, but economically as well. For every dollar spent on the professional theater, $33 is put back into the economy, according to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). SVST Director of Development/Managing Director Anne M. Rorholm said that amount comes from the money that people spend buying clothes for the show, babysitters, dinner, lodging, and concessions.

The arts center will also attract tourism to the Spokane area and have a tremendous impact on hospitality.

The state-of-the-art performing center will be a three-story facility housing a 500 seat main stage, a 200-seat flexible studio theatre, acting conservatory for area youth and event and business meeting space.

The event space can host two events at one time and has 180 sweeping views of the Idaho mountains to the southeast and Mt. Spokane and the Spokane River to the north. It will be designed by NAC Architecture and built by Garco Construction. 

In addition, the SVPAC plans include space for a rehearsal room, three permanent and multiple portable concession and bars and a 300 parking spaces outside the building that will be free for patrons, to mention other facilities.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the SVPAC is scheduled for August 13, 2022, with construction expected to begin on September 2022. The arts center's grand opening is scheduled for the summer of 2024.