A multiyear collaboration between the nonprofit and the Boca's cultural organizations that seeks to deliver on the founding promise of Mizner Park
BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On October 13th, the Board of the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation provided an update to Boca Raton City Council on the project's progress. Council voted 4-0 in favor of moving forward with the development of a draft ground lease agreement, for consideration at a future Council meeting.
The concept for the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation (The Center) was announced by the Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corp (BRADEC) in 2018, to create a hub of arts and culture at the north end of Mizner Park. This vision aims to deliver on a promise made to residents more three decades ago, when Mizner Park was first developed. BRADEC will now move forward with Boca Raton City Council and City staff on discussions regarding a ground lease agreement, building on Council's conceptual expression of support for the project one year ago.
"The work has just begun for the City’s partnership with the Boca Raton Arts and Innovation Center,” says Boca Raton City Councilwoman, Andrea Levine O'Rourke. “It offers us what I believe is an important component to the history of Boca Raton. This is an opportunity to follow through with an identity that we set out to create 30 years ago when Mizner Park was voted on by the public to be an Arts Park. This gives us the chance to finish what we started at Mizner Park decades ago. It will enable us to expose all ages to all forms of art, culture and innovation. This opportunity puts real weight behind the frequently used words 'world class’ and ‘vibrant'. I believe Boca Raton is poised and ready to research this beautiful plan for an Arts and Innovation Center at Mizner Park. I deeply believe that cities are defined by their art and culture. It provides richness, it provides memories, it creates heart and the soul, and it is an essential human element of communities. The Boca Raton Arts and Innovation Center Board has brought forward, not only a well needed performance space, it also has educational, innovation and business aspects."
“The BRADEC team has created a compelling vision of the future for the performing arts in Boca Raton. I’m so excited to support this wonderful opportunity and look forward to continuing to work with Andrea Virgin and her team to make this vision a reality for our residents,” states Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson.
The Center is designed as a permanent home for Boca Raton’s professional cultural institutions, that will be flexible and adaptable for corporate, nonprofit and private events, along with conferences, festivals and conventions that cater to the creative industries. The Center's design envisions advanced broadcast and projection technology, and sustainable and adaptable building systems. Its venues are planned as right-sized for Boca audiences, while able to flex and combine to serve up to 6,000 simultaneous event attendees. A prime example is the beloved Mizner Park Amphitheater, which will be able to accommodate 3,500 attendees in its traditional configuration, while enabling the transformation of the Amphitheater Stage into a climate-controlled, 450-seat indoor performance and event venue.
"The City Council expressed its continued support for progress of the transformative vision of the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation. The BRADEC team and many supporters have refined their vision for a cultural cornerstone for Boca and South Florida. We can look forward to their efforts to build on the community support and obtain the philanthropy needed to advance this plan closer to the reality we hope it can become," says Mayor of Boca Raton, Scott Singer.
Andrea Virgin, President of the BRADEC, offered the following, "On behalf of our organization, the donors who’ve funded this Vision, and the countless stakeholders who’ve participated in its shaping, we are very grateful for the Council’s support in moving this partnership forward and look forward to working with staff to work out the details.” Also, Dan Guin, Chair of the Advisory Board and Executive Director of the Cultural Consortium of Boca Raton was thrilled with the outcome adding, “As a resident and arts executive that has been an advocate for adequate cultural facilities in this community for over half of my life, I’m thrilled at the City Council’s decision to begin negotiations for a ground lease with the Boca Raton Center of Arts and Innovation. It’s beyond time that the artists of this community have a home to do what they do best: enrich lives!”
Should a ground lease be approved by City Council, active capital fundraising would commence in earnest next year, in conjunction with design development, with the goal of unveiling the reimagined Mizner Park Amphitheater first in 2025 — the same year of the City’s Centennial. The full Center would open in 2026.
To learn more about BRADEC or the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation, please visit their website https://bocaratonartscenter.org/.
About the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation:
Conceptually announced in 2018, the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation is a non-profit mission to create a comprehensive, economically-vibrant, innovative and sustainable cultural destination in Boca Raton that will enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure in the city; benefit the residents, patrons, visitors, organizations and civic and business communities; and be a landmark along the Gold Coast for future generations of audiences, artists, businesses, technologies and institutions. The Center imagines six diverse & adaptive performance & event spaces — indoor & outdoor — ranging in seating capacity from 99 to 3,500 seats. These can be programmed as individual spaces or combined to host events for nearly 6,000 total attendees.
The venues include a state-of-the-art, 1,100-seat concert & performance hall, designed as a multi-form theater; an amphitheater stage that can be transformed into a 450-seat “Black Box” space through use of an innovative bi-fold door; the 3,500-seat Mizner Park Amphitheater, which can be programmed simultaneously with the “Black Box” space; a jewel-box, 99-seat performance hall that can be converted into a large rehearsal studio; an outdoor rooftop terrace, which can accommodate an estimated 200 patrons; & a large, open-air lobby situated above ground level, protected from the elements by an innovative canopy feature.
For more information on this project & how to get involved, visit their website https://bocaratonartscenter.org/.
About Andrea Virgin:
After decades of working in both the performing arts as a professional ballerina & in commercial real estate as a land development engineer, Andrea Virgin decided to combine both careers with her love of community to fill the cultural gap that she’s known has existed for decades. Since 2017, Andrea has combined her experience & connections to enable over $1 million to be donated, major stakeholders to gather, world-renowned consultants to be engaged, unanimous conceptual approval to be granted by Council & promising discussions for major philanthropic support to begin. Andrea sits as President of the organization behind the vision & looks forward to bringing the world-class venues that mirror this world-class city.
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