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Published On: Thu, Nov 19th, 2020

New Performing Arts Center is ‘next chapter of vision and growth’ in Boca Raton

Innovation meets Boca Raton’s Mizner Park after the City Council accepted a proposal to open a new Performing Arts Center, during a workshop Tuesday, Oct. 13. 

Though they have reached a concurrence on the progression with the project, they still have a ways to go in relations to the agreement with the city.

The organization wants the community to know that “after working out the terms of the ground lease that we will be back before the City Council for the approval of that ground lease–so it has not been approved yet,” Red Rooster PR Mady Dudley said.

Bringing in a renovated addition to Mizner, the Boca Raton Performing Arts Center will not only add to the area, but also attract others as it will enchant over half a million visitors to Boca Raton, and fasten more than 12,000 jobs

“Each of the center’s spaces will be equipped with next generation technology to facilitate, not only performances but fashion, design, gaming, product launches, educational events and much more,” Brett Egan of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in Maryland, said.

Egan plays an instrumental role in the creation of this center as the President of the Institute, his organization works to help produce creative art-based gateways. He, along with his colleague Michael M. Kaiser, oversee all of the details pertaining to any planning, training, and consulting services that his institute provides. 

“We offer support to individuals, organizations, and—in collaboration with foundations and governments—to communities of organizations throughout the world, such as is the case in our work with the Cultural Council,” Egan said in a 2019 interview with the Cultural Council.

The Cultural Council, here in Palm Beach was founded by Alexander W. Dreyfoos in 1978 and has extended its assistance in a broad range of the Arts such as Arts Education and Art Advocacy. 

A blueprint which has been in the works for about a year now, the center has new additives as well as a unique– previously standing– feature to the park which will remain, but simply transformed. 

“It really started when I joined the board of Boca Ballet Theatre, which is actually a place I grew up in,” Boca Raton Consortium for Arts and Innovation [BRCAI] President Andrea Virgin said. “I trained there as a professional ballerina in my past life and I sat at the board table and I said ‘I think it’s time Boca gets out of high school.’”

The well-known amphitheatre of Mizner will be dressed with a new innovative curtain in a climate-controlled environment, also including enveloping media space which will provide 450 seats to patrons. 

This will still allow for free- flowing access to the public serving 3,500 people with open seating and an intriguing canopy peculiarity.

Andrea Virgin

President of Boca Raton Consortium for Arts and Innovation [BRCAI], Andrea Virgin is a leader in multiple aspects. Combining her passion for the performing arts, as a previous Professional Ballerina, and her interest in land development, Virgin is bridging gaps within the arts industry here in Boca Raton.

“The center will be the starting point of Boca Raton’s next chapter of vision and growth, and is a sum much greater than its parts,” she said.

Speaking on both of her careers, Andrea never thought they would both end up crossing. 

“I hung up those pointe shoes for a hard hat back in 2008 when the arts were taking a hit through the recession and I switched careers then– I never thought my two career paths would marry,” she said.

This theatre was thought out carefully, including advanced video protection and sound technology all while having the capability of maintaining a 1,100 patron maximum at once. 

Virgin mentioned the details and all that this project has had to do in preparation for a great turnout; she makes it clear that it truly does take a village.

“We spent about a half a million dollars on development costs, that’s inclusive of bringing in a strategic planning partner that’s formulated a business plan, that’s given a program to architects who have designed schematics, that have then been costed by general contractors, we’ve done economic impact studies, traffic studies, parking studies, commercial appraisals– you name it,” Virgin said. 

For citizens, entry will not be of issue as there will be a six-level parking garage granting access to the building and a “Fifth Street promenade.”

To all of Boca Raton, those involved in the arts and those who just like to be a part of the audience, this project will help bring the community together as it grows.

Virgin made it evident just how unique this center will be. “It’s not just your typical performing arts center, it is a lot more.”

Local businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc. will also benefit from the new addition. 

“This iconic destination will provide people a reason to explore the shops and restaurants that Mizner Park has to offer,” General Manager of Mizner Park, Brookfield Properties Dana Romanelli said.

The construction of the theatre will begin once the full funding and design is completed. It will take about two years to finalize. 

“With a projected delivery of the newly improved Amphitheatre in 2025– the city’s centenary year– with the full center opening in 2026,” Boca Raton Arts Center said.

This will be introducing a new– modern– society while celebrating Boca Raton’s previous century. 

“What a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the last 100 years with next-century culture infrastructure as we look ahead to the next 100 years,” Boca Raton Arts Center said.

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