Over 9,000 square feet of community education and cultural enrichment space, that is what’s in a name, and PCA has a new one: Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts.
In 2017 Executive Director Robyn Allen, Board President Russ Shedd and the PCA Board began a capital campaign for a much-needed expansion of the arts center as well as repairs on the 126-year-old buildings housing the existing gallery and theatre. Although the organization had worked tirelessly and made headway toward its funding goals, everything came to a very sudden halt when the pandemic forced PCA to close in the spring of 2020. Then one late summer day a very large gift came with one small request: to use the name Suze’s in the center’s branding. Hope was renewed for the survival of PCA and the project was resurrected.
After careful consideration by the PCA Board and input from trusted architect Bill Otwell, Haley Construction was chosen to build the new center. The new space will include a 99-seat state-of-the-art theatre with multiple seating options, an additional art gallery, a new box office, dressing and rehearsal space, climate-controlled costume storage, classrooms for music, dance, and visual arts, and an outdoor venue.
Allen offers this perspective on the recent past and imminent future: “The pandemic has taught us how to come together virtually, but many of us have lost the sense of community and belonging that’s inherently cultivated through in-person, face-to-face interactions. Arts centers are a portal into community dialogue. This state-of-the-art center will both challenge and provide opportunities for citizens to contribute to an improved quality of life for the communities they serve. Suze’s PCA is ready to embrace the future with its ‘front-porch’ neighborhood arts center, where colleagues and people from all walks of life can greet each other in person and feel connected to a sense of purpose and community that extends well beyond the physical building and out into our community.”
Several things have occurred to cause a significant increase in the projected cost of the expansion. Beyond ordinary inflation over the three years since the building was designed, pandemic supply-chain problems have raised costs for materials. Lumber alone is currently up 400%.
The project funding received last fall has allowed the completion of sound- and lighting-system upgrades for the existing facilities, along with other much-needed repairs and improvements. A beautifully reimagined and remodeled theatre will greet the community for the start of the 2021 season.
PCA broke ground on the new building in July, and thanks to the generosity of an anonymous art-lover the funding is 75% complete. Allen is optimistic that the additional needed funding will come in over the next year through the dedication and hard work of the community, Board and staff at Suze’s PCA in time for the scheduled completion.
If you would like to be part of the future with Suze’s PCA, please contact us at PCA-az.net for more information.
Last fall longtime PCA Board member and retired DuPont chemical engineer Russ Shedd stepped up to the task of project management for the new build last fall. Russ has served as Board president and is the current treasurer. Russ and his wife Kathy have devoted countless hours to PCA over the last 18 years. Kathy Shedd, now retired from radio and television, is the current hospitality coordinator at the Art Center and has been involved with community theatre since early childhood. She has appeared in several PCA productions over the years and worked most aspects of production as well.