How Goes That City Performance Hall, Anyway?

At left, the under-construction balcony of the City Performance Hall, seen at right in a conceptual rendering
At left, the under-construction balcony of the City Performance Hall, seen at right in a conceptual rendering

We spent much of Saturday in the Arts District, where the 7-year-old who lives in my house went trick-or-treating amongst the hundreds of Earth Day Dallas vendors handing out an ironic number of non-biodegradable goodies. At which point the boy pointed to the under-construction building across the street from Booker T. and asked, "What's that?" Well, funny you should ask: At noon today the council's Quality of Life Committee will get an update on the City Performance Hall, the final addition to the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the one with most public money poured into the concrete -- some $40.5 million in 2003 and '06 bond funds.

Says the update, it's about 23 percent finished and on schedule to make its bow in September 2012, at which time the Office of Cultural Affairs will take the reins. Well, actually, that's due to begin before that: The city will begin taking bookings in February, and the city guesstimates that "72 events and 37 rehearsal dates will be booked for the first full‐year of operations." The city also expects that almost all the events held there will be staged by "Dallas‐based arts & cultural nonprofit organizations," and that 30 percent of all events held there will be "student shows, of which half will be free or $5 or less."

But all that discount comes with a price: The city guesstimates FY2011-12 "start‐up partial year" revenue will be $22,982, while expenses are expected to total $227,381. Per the briefing, first full-year revenue in FY2012-13 will come in at around $273,692, which should just about cover personnel. Says the city, expenses the first year will run around $494,929.


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