Mary Anne Davis: So many possibilities with Penn Valley Cultural Center | TheUnion.com

Mary Anne Davis: So many possibilities with Penn Valley Cultural Center

Mary Anne Davis
Columnist

Mary Anne Davis

I feel very lucky to live in a community that supports and treasures the arts like ours does.

We have so many options when it comes to what to do on a Friday or Saturday night … or a Wednesday or Thursday. Just take a look inside The Prospector or at a local event calendar to see what I mean.

Because I'm an event producer by occupation and a performer (singer) by hobby, I am so excited that the Penn Valley Community Foundation is getting close to breaking ground on what's going to be a beautiful new Penn Valley Cultural Center right in the heart of Penn Valley, at 10592 Spenceville Road.

As a charter member of the Sierra Master Chorale/InConcert Sierra, I am most excited about the new performing arts portion of this Cultural Center.

From a performer’s perspective it will be wonderful, and I can only imagine the high-quality performances the attendees will enjoy in a setting such as this.

It has been carefully designed to have amazing acoustics, and it will seat 562 people in a performance setting.

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The stage will be able to accommodate 150 musicians – no longer will the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra be fighting for space on stage for our performances.

From a performer's perspective it will be wonderful, and I can only imagine the high-quality performances the attendees will enjoy in a setting such as this.

As an event producer, I see the Penn Valley Cultural Center as a venue with so many possibilities.

The inside space can seat up to 360 for a banquet (with a full commercial kitchen), and the outdoor courtyard of over 11,000 square feet will be perfect for expos, festivals, weddings, parties and other indoor-outdoor events.

But there's more. The Penn Valley Cultural Center will also be home to the new 5,000-square-foot Penn Valley library, a visitor center hosted by the Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce, and meeting spaces for education programs, nonprofits, and business events.

There will be a large lobby with a permanent art collection and a gallery for new art exhibits.

There will be plenty of parking with 344 parking spaces plus ancillary parking nearby.

The building will be fully accessible for disabled individuals, including stage access and is also designed to provide emergency shelter in the case of a natural disaster working with the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and Red Cross.

What has impressed me most about this project is the thoroughness of the Penn Valley Community Foundation Board in their research and planning.

They have gone directly to the people in the community who will use this venue, including myself (as an event producer), Ken Hardin (as artistic director of InConcert Sierra) and others, to ask us what features we need in a facility like this. And they've listened.

The result will truly be a venue that will serve the needs not only of Penn Valley, but all of western Nevada County.

After all, Penn Valley is only 6 miles from Grass Valley, and mostly freeway miles at that.

I encourage you to learn more about the Penn Valley Cultural Center, planned to break ground in February of 2016, at http://www.pennvalleycc.org.

On their webpage you can see artistic renderings of the building, the architectural plans for the inside spaces, and learn more about the fundraising efforts underway.

Half of the funding is being secured through a loan from the USDA Rural Development Program, and the remaining is being raised through a community-based capital campaign.

If you love the arts and events as much as I do, I hope you will help fund this important project.

Mary Anne Davis, The Union's event and sponsorship manager, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. Her opinion is her own and does not reflect the viewpoint of The Union or its editorial board. Contact her at mdavis@theunion.com.

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