Livermore, California (EastBayDaily) — The City of Livermore has approved a joint proposal developed with the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) to resolve the outstanding debt of $22.3 million on the Bankhead Theater. The four-party transaction between LVPAC, the City of Livermore, the County of Alameda and the Bank of New York/Mellon opens a much needed path for the Bankhead Theater to continue offering the Tri-Valley an exceptional venue for the performing arts in the heart of downtown Livermore.
“The LVPAC board and staff are deeply appreciative of the cooperation shown by the city, county and bank, as well as the outpouring of support from the community, in reaching this long sought-after proposal to resolve the debt,” said Phil Wente, LVPAC Chairman.
As was the case with nearly 400 other cities in the state of California, Livermore lost significant funding when the state government eliminated all redevelopment agencies in 2011, jeopardizing long-standing plans for a regional theater. Operating as a stand-alone venue, the significant bond debt remaining on the Bankhead Theater put it at high risk of default and closure.
LVPAC has committed to raising $4 million this year to fulfill the terms of the proposal, as well as sustain operations through 2014. More than half of that total has already been raised or identified, and significant fundraising efforts are being implemented to reach the goal. The city’s contribution will come from Host Community Impact Fees (HCIF) from local landfills, funds that have already been directed to the theater since it opened. Under the terms of the proposal, the city will assume a loan against the projected HCIF income to help resolve the bond debt. In return, ownership of the theater will transfer to the City of Livermore and the County of Alameda subject to leaseback by LVPAC. To ensure continuity of management, as well as maintain consistent fundraising efforts, LVPAC will continue to run the Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center.
“We believe LVPAC’s fundraising goal for this year is ambitious but achievable, and fits with our long term plans to develop a broader base of financial support across the community,” said David Hyslop, Consulting Theater Manager for LVPAC. “Resolution of the debt will allow LVPAC to implement a sustainable model for the Bankhead that can provide audiences, resident companies, local businesses and educators with a venue that satisfies their needs. In doing so however, it will be essential for the entire community to step forward and help LVPAC achieve these goals through contributions, ticket sales and championing the Bankhead and the Bothwell.”
Wente added, “Supporters from throughout the Tri-Valley have shared in our vision of a vibrant and dynamic downtown Livermore for more than two decades. Approval of this proposal allows us all to pull together and participate in the success of the Bankhead Theater.”
LVPAC Board President, Joan Seppala stated, "At the Bankhead Theater, we come together as a community to be moved and challenged. It is wonderful to see so many different interests join to preserve it."
Events for the eighth LVPAC Presents season have been booked and include both popular returning artists, as well as exciting new performers. Approximately four dozen groups and artists are scheduled to appear, representing a broad range of musical styles such as rock, country, classical and world, plus cirque, comedy and dance. The entire 2014-2015 LVPAC Presents season will be announced on June 26.
About the company: The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center provides wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. LVPAC Presents offers a wide variety of exceptional music, dance and theatrical performances at the Bankhead Theater each year. The Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. Between them, they offer more than 500 public activities each year, from classes and workshops, to concerts and performances, as well as Guitar Fest LIVE!, ArtWalk and extensive educational arts outreach. A list of upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater, as well as activities at the Bothwell Arts Center, is available online at http://www.mylvpac.com.