Testimonials and Connections at the Newport Performing Arts Center
Growing Up At The PAC
"I feel very lucky to get to pursue several careers that I really enjoy. My experiences at the PAC growing up were instrumental in developing valuable skills I still rely on daily, as well as a lifelong love of sharing creativity and the arts with others."
– Nathan Ball (pictured left), Engineer, TV Host, Author and CEO
"Growing up at the Performing Art Center has been a true honor. It has allowed me to fully explore my talents in an accepting and nurturing way. I owe where I am now to where I came from."
– Kyle Bertness (pictured right, performing in the 2015 Coastal Act Productions presentation of “Shrek the Musical," photo by Chris Graamans), Student, American Musical and Dramatic
Academy, New York City
"The PAC is a wonderful venue that provides countless opportunities both for patrons and performers. Every production I have been involved in at the PAC has opened doors to new opportunities, as well as personal and professional connections."
– Milo Graamans, Videographer, Pianist, Composer, Newport
"'Growing up at the PAC' for me was like being mentored by an entire community. It didn’t matter what show was going on; I always felt like I had something to give and receive by being there. It really did feel like a second home. Whether it was theater, dance, music or tech the Performing Arts Center represented a place where I could participate just by showing up. Access to such a versatile arts center all throughout my childhood has expanded my creative limits as an adult and more importantly has allowed me to mentor a new generation of kids who too can 'grow up' at the PAC."
– Ethan Zirin-Brown (pictured right, at the July session of the 2017 OCCA Theatre Camp, photo by Chris Graamans), Musician, Producer, Performer
"Growing up in Newport, the Performing Arts Center fostered a wonderfully supportive community. It provided countless opportunities to not only witness high caliber music and art, but to step into the role of a serious performer myself. The PAC felt like such a natural part of life that I did not fully realize what an unusual feature it was for a small town. It is, in fact, a treasure, and I am grateful for the many incredible opportunities and experiences it has enabled in my life."
– Joannah Ball, Musician and Vocalist
“The PAC is a hotbed of dreamers, of adults who are young at heart, of people who are happier on stage than anywhere else. We young thespians were so inspired by this environment that we couldn’t imagine our lives without the arts. For those of us who chose to become 'starving artists,' we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the people who are the PAC for always believing in us, our talent, and our dreams.” – Erica Brookhyser, Opera Singer
"The Newport Performing Arts Center was the most important element in the development of my teenage years and my future career as a professional theater designer. I benefited from the incredible family of interdisciplinary artists that come together under one roof and inspire each other and their community. Through the programs affiliated with the PAC I had the opportunity to study fine art, dance, acting, circus and most importantly (to me) try my hand at theatrical design. I count myself as an incredibly lucky individual to have had access to the resources of the PAC's facility and nurturing artistic community while growing up in Newport." – Zane Pihlstrom, Theater Designer - Costumes and Scenery
"I know the Newport Performing Arts Center very intimately, as it was basically my second home growing up! It provided a place for our wildly prolific local dance schools, theater companies and musicians to unleash their talents and create with abandon. It was on the PAC stage that I discovered the magic of live performance, and where I grew to understand that that magic could become my life path." – Amber Star Merkens, Guest Faculty, Mark Morris Dance Company
Youth Speak Out
“The PAC was a safe and exciting place for fun, learning, and just plain growing up. I’ll always cherish its memories and hope to some day see another little girl like me look back on all of those rooms with a smile and a warm heart.” – Emily Fox, Newport School of Artistic Movement, Theater Camp
“I met so many crazy, fun loving people there. The Newport PAC was a place of discovery for me.” – Ben Fox, Theater Camp
"I remember being on stage when no one else was around and most of the lights were off. Looking out into the darkness, I could feel the remnants of the energy that was created during the shows that passed through. We had the opportunity to contribute our energy in a way that moved us and others in a good direction.” – Andrew Eastman, Bumblebee at Age 4 to Devil at Age 18
“There are usually about three projects happening at once; you can go from one room to the next and find yourself in a completely different show. The PAC is at the center of all this energy and creativity; it’s an exhilarating environment to 'live' in.” – Dana Fleck, Theater Camp / Newport High School Theater
“Being a part of the PAC Family is so much fun. Every year I grew as a person because theater camp would push my imagination and push me out of my bubble.” – Monique Michelle Betty, Ballet Dancer
“The PAC was a huge part of my life growing up. I feel blessed to have been exposed to the opportunities and experiences the PAC offered.” – Elizabeth Eastman, danced at the ground-breaking and performed in recitals, plays, and musicals
"I grew up at the PAC, as a person and an artist. I was pretty sure a more beautiful place didn't exist in the whole world. I've performed on many stages since (some not nearly as nice), but it was at the PAC that I learned to love to perform and I will always remember it as a magical place." – Michaela Shoberg, Dancer
"Growing up in Newport and performing at the PAC, with its state-of-the-art facilities and top-notch performances, made my transition to professional life working as a dancer in New York City seamless." – Jennifer Harmer, Dancer
Community Members Speak Out
"People often ask us, why did we choose to come to Newport? We were drawn because it has an aquarium and a symphony orchestra. Although we came for the orchestra, we have certainly stayed for the rich variety of opportunity in the arts including Met Opera in HD, quality stage performances, and the ability to become personally acquainted with nationally recognized artists in Newport and Toledo. We are indeed fortunate." – John Lavrakas, Advanced Research Corporation, Newport
"No matter where I travel, when I say 'Newport' I often hear—Is that the little town where they built that wonderful performing arts center? When raising funds for the construction of the PAC, we said the center would make a difference in the lives of Newport’s youth and their families, and encourage out of town visitors—and it has!" – Sharon Morgan, former OCCA Executive Director
"Consider the financial impact of more than 587,000 people that have attended and participated on the stage of the Newport Performing Arts Center. It also pays Newport back in ways that don’t have to do with decimal points and dollars. It has to do with civic health, pride, wisdom and our kids. It delights me so see the theater camps and dance recitals involving kids. They think they own this place, and of course they do!" – David Ogden Stiers
“Newport is a unique place. If you look up and down the coast of the Pacific Northwest, no place compares to Newport. The fishing community, Performing Arts Center and the OSU Science Center really highlight the character of why we love it here.” – Sky Schroeder, Newport Optometrist
"When we are recruiting health care professionals to serve Newport, we often point out the Performing Arts Center as a true bona-fide resource of the community. The PAC is a an attraction to people who are considering living and working in our community, and to have this cultural resource available." – David Bigelow, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Administrator
"The Performing Arts Center is a special venue on the coast. The planned improvements to the acoustics will help the sound bloom, and waft over the audience! It will take the hall from a lecture hall to a real performance space and create a more resonant vessel that will benefit all types of performances." – Adam Flatt, Conductor, Newport Symphony Orchestra
"Newport’s PAC serves as the anchor for arts and culture on the central Oregon coast. It is a key attribute that makes Newport so much more than one would expect of a town of 10,000 people. It contributes to our ability to recruit highly educated and talented individuals to live and work in Newport . We routinely include the PAC in our tours to prospective employees." – George Boehlert, former Director of Hatfield Marine Science Center