Performing Arts Center Possible at Vista Field

Tri-Cities, WA - The Tri-Cities has several performing arts groups like the Mid-Columbia Master Singers, the Symphony Orchestra and the Ballet, but they say they are pretty much homeless. 

Group leaders are hoping they can build a new performing arts center at Vista Field.

Our local performance groups say they are not the only ones that would benefit from a regional performing arts center.

They say something like this could bring in tons of money with broadway shows and concerts. The Performing Arts Center Task Force has been around for more than three decades.

Most recently the idea of a performing arts center came up a couple years ago during talks of a regional aquatics center which ultimately did not take.

Now with plans to build a new "downtown" area at Vista Field, the idea of a performing arts center is back on the forefront.

"And this particular area because we lack something like a performing arts center, it's really hard to get people really especially young people interested in coming here," Steven Wiley, Performing Art Center Chair explained. 

The Director of the Mid-Columbia Master Singers, Justin Raffa says they and other groups need a home. 

"Quality of groups, but no proper place to present that for the community, where do people go to see a show around here. It can become a challenge to have to find out where things are happening because there is no central location to go and enjoy arts productions," Raffa said. 

Raffa says our local high schools like Hanford and Richland High School have large auditoriums, but understandably the school has priority over scheduling.

Plus, these auditoriums cannot accommodate certain productions. 

The Art Center Task Force is working with the Port of Kennewick on this proposal.

"There's a need for public facility like a performing arts facility so I'm really excited that the performing arts groups are getting together to take the lead and the port commission and the Port of Kennewick is very interested, looking to see what we can do to accommodate that as part of the Vista Field redevelopment," Tana Bader Inglima, Port of Kennewick. 

The performing arts task force is holding a fundraising concert this Saturday to help move their idea forward.

Country singer Tayla Lynn and grammy award winner Eric Tingstad will take the stage at the Three Rivers Convention center at 7:30. Tickets are 7:30. Details here.

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