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For the week of July 25 - July 31, 2001

  Arts & Entertainment

Sun Valley seeks art center feasibility study

Express Staff Writer

The dream of an arts center in Sun Valley is still playing in the minds of many in the upper valley, but so far, only the city of Sun Valley has contributed money to making the dream come true.

The city has already donated the land for an arts center, a five-acre parcel adjacent to Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church on Sun Valley Road.

But the city council again found itself alone at its meeting Thursday when the hat was passed around for the dream¾ this time for a feasibility study.

Although the council did not approve spending the estimated cost of between $30,000 and $35,000, council members agreed to let Dan Pincetich, the city’s general manager, put the proposed feasibility study out for bid.

"We’ve already spent $7,500," Mayor Dave Wilson said, on an initial study by Aspen architect Harry Teague.

His firm, Harry Teague Architects, has not only designed performing arts buildings (the Benedict Music Tent and the Harris Concert Hall in Aspen), but Teague himself has experience in drawing art communities together for funding art centers.

In the section of his study titled "What’s Next," Teague recommends a professional feasibility study be done in order to lend "credibility to the project as a whole, reassure the potential donors, and help us plan the right numbers of seats, etc."

The feasibility study would be to evaluate which of the art community’s needs could be met by an arts center.

Such needs include office space, classroom space, theater space, studio space for the performing and visual arts, auditorium space, storage space and parking.

The study would also document which of those facilities already exist in the area. Teague wrote in his initial study that "unnecessary competition between facilities" is the worst potential of a new arts center.

He also recommends that "at the appropriate time" responsibility for the project should be taken from the city and turned over to an organization "made up of members with the appropriate areas of expertise, levels of enthusiasm and wisdom, and prominence in the community."

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.