Partners for the PAC

Contact Info:

Partners for the PAC Co-Chair:

Constance Waisanen

(503) 325-8853

Charlene Larsen

(503) 325-0590

Presenter Description:

The College Performing Arts Center (PAC) began its life as Trinity Lutheran Church. It was designed by Astoria architect John Wicks and constructed during the depression on the site of the original Convent of the Holy Name. The church purchased the land in 1930 and the construction was financed through a depression-relief program. The church was completed in 1936 and three years later a 23-rank Espey pipe organ was installed in the church. After the Trinity congregation moved to another building in 1974, the PAC was acquired by Clatsop Community College and reopened in 1977 as a performing arts center. In 1998 the College removed the building from the City of Astoria's list of local landmarks and removed the upper one-third of the steeple because the structure was "unreparable and a danger."

The building remains a gem in the community. It is an indispensable performance and rehearsal resource for local and visiting performing arts groups. With an audience capacity of 250, the PAC fills a distinct niche within the cultural community of Clatsop and Pacific counties and makes access to a wide range of experiences available and affordable to all who live and work here.

Because of funding reductions from the State of Oregon and the continuing effects of Measure 5 cuts in the mid 1990s, Clatsop Community College faces challenges which prevents it from funding the continued operating costs of the Performing Arts Center. A coalition of local arts organizations (Partners for the PAC) has joined forces with the college to keep the PAC open for affordable arts and educational events through 2013. Costs are estimated at $26,000 per year and Partners for the PAC is working to raise funds to sustain the performing arts facility. Funds raised will be used for maintenance and operating costs of the PAC, including publicity and fund raising expenses. Any amount raised over the operating expenses will be deposited in a contingency fund for emergency repairs and improvements to the facility.