The exhibition and performance of the arts can provide a catalyst for economic growth, cultural tourism and community development. From the standpoint of enhancing reputation and economic development, being known as a place that promotes arts and culture is a real advantage for any city, large or small. And by promoting vibrancy in the arts, we encourage a positive self-image for our community. We make everyone's life better by bringing the arts closer to us.
Among our children, the arts promote positive social development and encourage exploration and creativity. Exposure to the arts improves academic skills essential for reading and language development and helps all children lead richer, fuller lives. Arts develop an awareness of different ways of perceiving and thinking, and build respect for other viewpoints, cultures and heritages, promoting tolerance; which engenders a team-oriented and collaborative environment.
But the arts aren’t just for kids. The arts enhance the quality of life for everyone.
I am excited to hear that we are considering forming a Downtown Theatre Task Force that will look into revitalizing the old Del Puerto Theater. I have always believed it would be a great community arts center where we can present live theatre and live music, a gallery for local artists, as well as, a place for town hall meetings, banquets and receptions. It can be an anchor for our downtown; attracting people to frequent our shops and even bring us more shops and restaurants to our historic downtown.
As with many other cities that have renovated their old movie theaters into arts centers (such as, Newman, Turlock, Modesto, Merced, Tracy), it won’t happen over night. It may take years and lots of ‘sweat-equity’ to bring the old Del Puerto back to its full grandeur. But it is better for us to begin now, because the sooner we start, the sooner we can liven up and revitalize our downtown.
With the success of our Repertory Theatre, our Youth Theatre, and our Art and Wine Gala, with the Del Puerto Art Group, two dance companies, Band Night at the Teen Center and Movies in the Park, it’s time to bring the old Del Puerto Theater back.
Arts in Our Economy
- Contribute $5.4 billion to California's economy
- Create 66,300 full-time jobs and 95,100 part-time jobs
- Generate $300 million in state and local tax
- Attract 71.2 million in annual attendance and attract 6 million out of town tourists