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Walton Arts Center Location


Mith242

Where do you think the WAC should be located?  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Where do you think the WAC should be located?

    • Same location, just expand as much as possible.
      31
    • Different location, but still on/near Dickson St
      8
    • Another location somewhere in Fayetteville
      1
    • Somewhere else in NWA outside of Fayetteville
      3


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I read that- it was Pat Gazzola, the chairman of the A&P Commission. His problem was with the fact that alcohol is served in places on Dickson Street. He said it was a deterrrent to patrons of Dickson Street restaurants and that people didn't want to bring their families there.

Those have to be some of dumbest comments I've ever read, especially coming from someone who is supposed to be promoting Fayetteville. Evidently he has never been to the Walton Arts Center or he would know that alcohol is served at events there. I doubt there are any eating establishments on Dickson that don't serve alcohol besides Jimmy Johns. To say that the serving of alcohol is a drawback to Dickson Street is some kind of backwards logic that makes no sense at all. One of the reasons for keeping the WAC on Dickson is to keep it from becoming just a bar and restaurant area. The majority of shows at the WAC aren't aimed at a child audience but even so to say going from the parking lot into the building is some sort of safety risk is ridiculous.

Oh yeah- he is the owner of the Catfish Hole, which doesn't serve alcohol and will not be serving me any time soon. A modern day temperance movement is not what Fayetteville needs from it's leaders

It was encouraging to read that city leaders are at least talking to the WAC and President and CEO Peter Lane about what needs to be done to keep the expansion in town. Hopefully this is the start of a much more agressive effort to do so. Including the A&P Commission and all community leaders in the discussion is important. As one commissioner said, the University of Arkansas may be the key to the effort.

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This was indeed expected and makes it clear that the site selection process was all for show. The continued use of the word expansion when it is in reality a replacement facilty just shows their dupli

I read that- it was Pat Gazzola, the chairman of the A&P Commission. His problem was with the fact that alcohol is served in places on Dickson Street. He said it was a deterrent to patrons of Dickson Street restaurants and that people didn't want to bring their families there.

Those have to be some of dumbest comments I've ever read, especially coming from someone who is supposed to be promoting Fayetteville. Evidently he has never been to the Walton Arts Center or he would know that alcohol is served at events there. I doubt there are any eating establishments on Dickson that don't serve alcohol besides Jimmy Johns. To say that the serving of alcohol is a drawback to Dickson Street is some kind of backwards logic that makes no sense at all. One of the reasons for keeping the WAC on Dickson is to keep it from becoming just a bar and restaurant area. The majority of shows at the WAC aren't aimed at a child audience but even so to say going from the parking lot into the building is some sort of safety risk is ridiculous.

Oh yeah- he is the owner of the Catfish Hole, which doesn't serve alcohol and will not be serving me any time soon. A modern day temperance movement is not what Fayetteville needs from it's leaders

It was encouraging to read that city leaders are at least talking to the WAC and President and CEO Peter Lane about what needs to be done to keep the expansion in town. Hopefully this is the start of a much more agressive effort to do so. Including the A&P Commission and all community leaders in the discussion is important. As one commissioner said, the University of Arkansas may be the key to the effort.

Yeah that was the name. Even if you really felt that about Dickson St. How can you work at the position he does and make public comments like that? Maybe he'd be happy to move it to a semi-dry county like Benton County. I also just don't get his idea about moving the WAC to I-540. Yeah easier access by automobile. But where's most of the growth happening along I-540 in NWA? It's not Fayetteville. It just seems like he's ruling out Fayetteville by his own criteria.

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Yeah that was the name. Even if you really felt that about Dickson St. How can you work at the position he does and make public comments like that? Maybe he'd be happy to move it to a semi-dry county like Benton County. I also just don't get his idea about moving the WAC to I-540. Yeah easier access by automobile. But where's most of the growth happening along I-540 in NWA? It's not Fayetteville. It just seems like he's ruling out Fayetteville by his own criteria.

A person who can make such a loaded, false, irresponsible public statement about Fayetteville has no business whatsoever representing this city.

Gazzola should resign immediately.

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Walton Arts Center President/CEO Peter lane has weighed in on the location debate with what seems to be an endorsement of the expansion being built on Dickson Street. He says that attending an arts event is more than seeing the show itself but also what happens before and after the event. Dickson Street offers the type of businesses that provide a well rounded experience. Evidently the feedback from the public has been strongly in favor of keeping the WAC right where it is. This has got to be the most encouraging news that Fayetteville has received in a long time- hopefully the City and University will grab the opportunity to work with the WAC to make the dream come true.

NWANews. com Opinon page

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Walton Arts Center President/CEO Peter lane has weighed in on the location debate with what seems to be an endorsement of the expansion being built on Dickson Street. He says that attending an arts event is more than seeing the show itself but also what happens before and after the event. Dickson Street offers the type of businesses that provide a well rounded experience. Evidently the feedback from the public has been strongly in favor of keeping the WAC right where it is. This has got to be the most encouraging news that Fayetteville has received in a long time- hopefully the City and University will grab the opportunity to work with the WAC to make the dream come true.

NWANews. com Opinon page

Sweet. :yahoo: Of course it's not a done deal or anything. But still very nice to hear. Thanks for the link.

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A person who can make such a loaded, false, irresponsible public statement about Fayetteville has no business whatsoever representing this city.

Gazzola should resign immediately.

Pat Gazzola resigned as chairman of the Advertising and Promotion Commission.

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Pat Gazzola resigned as chairman of the Advertising and Promotion Commission.

I hate to say good, but he really does not seem the right person for the job with what he said. Dickson St is the entertainment district for Fayetteville and he publicly calls it unsafe. I just don't see how he can effectively promote Fayetteville if that's what he really believes about Dickson St.

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I doubt he really feels that, he was simply being the self centered person he is and was trying to encourage them to move the WAC to Weddington so that his restaurant could benefit from it. Since The Catfish Hole is perpetually full with people waiting outside a lot of the time, you would think he would be happy...but anyone who knows him, knows otherwise.

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I doubt he really feels that, he was simply being the self centered person he is and was trying to encourage them to move the WAC to Weddington so that his restaurant could benefit from it. Since The Catfish Hole is perpetually full with people waiting outside a lot of the time, you would think he would be happy...but anyone who knows him, knows otherwise.

Nothing says "Arts District" like catfish! LOL :dontknow::dontknow::whistling:

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Since they seem to be the group that will have the final public say on where the expansion will be built I have been reading up on the Walton Arts Center Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors and how this board operates. There are nine directors that serve 3 year terms and no director can serve more than two consecutive terms. Three directors are appointed by the Board of Trustees for the University of Arkansas, three directors are appointed by the Fayetteville City Council and three directors are jointly appointed by the Mayor of Fayetteville, and the Chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Looking at how this board is appointed it's amazing that there is any discussion at all about where the expansion should occur. Considering that all the board members are either appointed by Fayetteville or the University how could the primary facility be located anywhere else besides Fayetteville?

The City of Fayetteville website only lists 6 directors and only 3 of those are from Fayetteville. Hopefully the website can be updated soon so that all 9 members are listed publicly.

The WAC website lists a grand total of 18 directors- there are 4 listed as university appointees, 5 as Fayetteville appointees and the rest at large. None of individuals listed as the Walton Arts Center Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors on the city website appear on the WAC site under the webpage listed as Board of Directors.

So.....anyone know why the discrepancy in board information? Are they in fact two separate boards and if so, who will be making the expansion decision?

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Ok, so what is known commonly as the WAC Board of Directors is offically named "Walton Arts Center Council, Inc." and consists of at least 10 members, and not more than 20 members. Five are appointed by the Board of Trustees for the University, five are appointed by the Fayetteville City Council and ten are appointed at large. The Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the Walton Arts Center Council, Inc. govern how the Council (Board of Directors) operates including the selection of members and length of terms.

It sounds like the Council is responsible for making policy but the Foundation controls the purse strings.

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Ok, so what is known commonly as the WAC Board of Directors is offically named "Walton Arts Center Council, Inc." and consists of at least 10 members, and not more than 20 members. Five are appointed by the Board of Trustees for the University, five are appointed by the Fayetteville City Council and ten are appointed at large. The Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the Walton Arts Center Council, Inc. govern how the Council (Board of Directors) operates including the selection of members and length of terms.

It sounds like the Council is responsible for making policy but the Foundation controls the purse strings.

Thanks for looking into this. I admit I really didn't know how things were ran.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The WAC may be in the middle of some big changes but one thing remains constant- it as popular as ever. Even in the bad economy ticket sales and revenue are both up and it will have a bigger budget than ever before.

Morning News article

I'd heard about that. Too bad there's no info yet as to how all of those numbers break down. I sorta wonder if more Fayetteville are turning out to try to support the WAC knowing there's a chance it could leave in the near future. But then again maybe that has nothing to do with it. In certain economies like the current one tend to focus on certain activities for entertainment. People travel less and tend to go to the movies and such more often.

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Hmm.....the Morning News article and a similar one from the NWA Times were pulled from their respective websites the same day they were posted. Something in those stories must have been off-limits for public viewing, I guess. The only thing I saw that might have been suspect were the actual financial figures but why would they be off-limits?

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Hmm.....the Morning News article and a similar one from the NWA Times were pulled from their respective websites the same day they were posted. Something in those stories must have been off-limits for public viewing, I guess. The only thing I saw that might have been suspect were the actual financial figures but why would they be off-limits?

Hmmm...that's odd. Wonder what's going on.

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  • 4 months later...

More talk of turning the parking lot across the street from the WAC into paid parking. In the past the city has talked about making this move so that eventually they could raise money to build a new parking garage in the area. But this time the talk is about having the WAC basically 'run' the parking lot. Apparently a big problem for people outside of Fayetteville and especially people outside of Washington County is parking. It's become a big issue for people wanting to attend events at the facilities. It would be great if Fayetteville would have already gotten the ball rolling in getting a parking garage going. Maybe they're waiting to see if the WAC plans to stay or leave Fayetteville for Benton County. Although even if the WAC left Dickson St could really use a parking garage. But I think everyone in Fayetteville would really hate top see the WAC leave because Fayetteville didn't show some initiative in getting a parking garage going. With city revenues down now because of the economy I get the impression the city won't be starting plans for a parking garage anytime soon.

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More talk of turning the parking lot across the street from the WAC into paid parking. In the past the city has talked about making this move so that eventually they could raise money to build a new parking garage in the area. But this time the talk is about having the WAC basically 'run' the parking lot. Apparently a big problem for people outside of Fayetteville and especially people outside of Washington County is parking. It's become a big issue for people wanting to attend events at the facilities. It would be great if Fayetteville would have already gotten the ball rolling in getting a parking garage going. Maybe they're waiting to see if the WAC plans to stay or leave Fayetteville for Benton County. Although even if the WAC left Dickson St could really use a parking garage. But I think everyone in Fayetteville would really hate top see the WAC leave because Fayetteville didn't show some initiative in getting a parking garage going. With city revenues down now because of the economy I get the impression the city won't be starting plans for a parking garage anytime soon.

My first reaction is that it is great that the city is taking a step towards working with the Walton Arts Center to solve the parking problem even though it is a small step at best. While it will cause some confusion and hardship for some at first, as people get used to the idea it will eventually seem like a normal part of being in that area.

My second reaction is alarm that this is the city adminstration's way of signaling that they are giving up on the idea of keeping the WAC expansion in Fayetteville. The revenue from paid parking needs to be put towards a parking deck for the area- that was not mentioned as a use of the money taken in. Giving control of the lot and the revenue without a commitment from the WAC to build the expansion in Fayetteville is counterproductive. The city and university should do whatever they can to keep the expansion in Fayetteville. If that isn't possible and the WAC abandons Fayetteville to build a main facilty in Benton County then the city and university need to terminate the existing contract and operate the present facility themselves. To let a group take away the heart of the entertainment district and one of the city's jewels and still work with them would be unconscionable and an economic disaster for the city.

It's ridiculous for anyone to say that we shouldn't worry and the Fayetteville facilty will still have programming even though the main WAC will be in Benton County. Once the main facilty is in place elsewhere Fayetteville will suffer- it will have second choice and be a second rate venue. The first year or two would be great but as soon as the new wears off the new WAC and attendance for the events drops off there will be pressure to fill those extra seats. After the first couple of years when everyone has seen the new building and make their appearance other activities will become more attractive and all focus of the WAC adminstration will be on making that facilty succeed- not Fayetteville. Letting someone without Fayetteville's best interests at heart determine what events come to the city would be a mistake to say the least.

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Tonight's performance of Riverdance at the Walton Arts Center was spectacular! The dancers' precision was matched only by their energy. The singers and band gave outstanding performances. The costumes had vivid color and rich textures that stood out during every section of the show. It was a high energy show that had the audience cheering and clapping along at every chance. It made for an exciting and just plain fun evening.

This is the type of event that will not come to Fayetteville if the expansion is built away from the city and the WAC still controls what events do come here. It is the type of event that gives Fayetteville invaluable exposure to the rest of the country and world. Here's a link to the Riverdance website- the tour page shows a stop at Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. The economics of attending a show like Riverdance means that many of the attendees are the movers and shakers of the business world and other decision making types. Fayetteville makes great effort and spends much money trying to get positive exposure like this with not nearly the reach that this site gives- this is just one aspect of the importance of having the premier performing arts center in NWA located in Fayetteville. This exposure will end if the expansion is built away from the city to Fayettville's economic detriment.

Riverdance

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Tonight's performance of Riverdance at the Walton Arts Center was spectacular! The dancers' precision was matched only by their energy. The singers and band gave outstanding performances. The costumes had vivid color and rich textures that stood out during every section of the show. It was a high energy show that had the audience cheering and clapping along at every chance. It made for an exciting and just plain fun evening.

This is the type of event that will not come to Fayetteville if the expansion is built away from the city and the WAC still controls what events do come here. It is the type of event that gives Fayetteville invaluable exposure to the rest of the country and world. Here's a link to the Riverdance website- the tour page shows a stop at Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. The economics of attending a show like Riverdance means that many of the attendees are the movers and shakers of the business world and other decision making types. Fayetteville makes great effort and spends much money trying to get positive exposure like this with not nearly the reach that this site gives- this is just one aspect of the importance of having the premier performing arts center in NWA located in Fayetteville. This exposure will end if the expansion is built away from the city to Fayettville's economic detriment.

Riverdance

Thanks for the info and review. Certainly wouldn't mind if others starting posting some reviews of events happening at the WAC. Hopefully Fayetteville will be able to do something to keep the WAC in Fayetteville and keep Fayetteville the entertainment center of NWA.

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Another point about the parking situation on Dickson Street- the WAC lots were full a good 45 minutes before the 7 PM show start time on a Wednesday night. It is that way often whenever an event is held. Using the $2 per hour rate that the pay lots in the area use and multiplying that by 5 nights for 3 hours per day could raise over $500,000 per year.

The WAC wants to use that money for lot operation and the spend the rest of it on the facility. That is a ridiculous idea- there is a huge parking problem that needs to be solved and this is the obvious revenue stream that should be used to solve it. Half a million per year would go a long ways in paying for a bond issue to build a parking deck. There isn't any other reasonable way to use the money- the city needs to keep control of the lot itself if the plan is to turn over all proceeds to the WAC to use as they see fit.

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A better idea:

Allow the WAC to sell a couple of rows of parking spots to their bigtime patrons at an annual rate, or per show. They could even issue parking passes, valid during any WAC event.

Put parking meters in front of every space. When the WAC is having an event, they can put covers over those rows of parking with space numbers on them. That way their bigtime donors and bigwigs get special treatment. The city gets the revenue from the remainder of the lots. Problem solved. City gets a revenue stream to put towards bonds on a new deck without just handing over the lot to the WAC fulltime.

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A better idea:

Allow the WAC to sell a couple of rows of parking spots to their bigtime patrons at an annual rate, or per show. They could even issue parking passes, valid during any WAC event.

Put parking meters in front of every space. When the WAC is having an event, they can put covers over those rows of parking with space numbers on them. That way their bigtime donors and bigwigs get special treatment. The city gets the revenue from the remainder of the lots. Problem solved. City gets a revenue stream to put towards bonds on a new deck without just handing over the lot to the WAC fulltime.

That's an interesting idea. Although I guess they'd still have to go through the city to get approval. Now although the WAC is now going to be running the parking lot I'm pretty sure the city still owns it. I don't know that the city would have a problem with that idea though.

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A better idea:

Allow the WAC to sell a couple of rows of parking spots to their bigtime patrons at an annual rate, or per show. They could even issue parking passes, valid during any WAC event.

Put parking meters in front of every space. When the WAC is having an event, they can put covers over those rows of parking with space numbers on them. That way their bigtime donors and bigwigs get special treatment. The city gets the revenue from the remainder of the lots. Problem solved. City gets a revenue stream to put towards bonds on a new deck without just handing over the lot to the WAC fulltime.

I agree- that is a good idea. It would be like the University having scholarship parking for donors. When the parking deck is built the donors could have their pick of spots in it since the lot will be needed for the new theater.

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